Once a varicose vein becomes symptomatic, patients typically report an overall heaviness and ache in the legs. This may be followed by swollen ankles and lower legs, cramps and itching, restlessness, or an irritated rash on the legs or near the ankles. Other common symptoms include tenderness to touch around the area of the varicose vein and numbness.
Varicose veins may often go unnoticed for some time. However, visually, a varicose vein will appear bluish purple. This is due to the blood pooling in the vein which needs to be oxygenated. This is why it is on its way back to the lungs and heart. Spider veins are like varicose veins, but just much smaller and more superficial.