What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose Veins AnatomyVaricose veins are superficial veins (close to the skin's surface) that have become stretched, dilated and twisted. They occur when incompetent valves in the legs allow blood to pool in the legs, resulting in a burning or aching sensation.

An estimated 25 percent of women and 15 percent of men have varicose and spider veins. Although varicose veins are common, they are almost never a serious problem. Blood clots rarely develop in varicose veins.

What are spider veins?

Arterial and Venous CirculationSmaller, bluish veins just under the skin's surface are called spider veins. Spider veins are dilated small veins and most often appear on the legs.

Related Resources

  • Varicose Veins - Varicose veins are bulging, ropey and often painful veins that occur most commonly in the legs, but can appear anywhere in the body.