Varicose veins are rope-like blue vessels under the skin, usually ¼ inch or larger in diameter. They are most often branches from the saphenous trunk veins, and have enlarged due to the excess pressure in the saphenous system. Varicose veins are unsightly and often painful. A clotted varicose vein causes a condition called phlebitis, in which the skin overlying the site of the clot becomes hot, red and painful. Besides the visible symptoms, physical symptoms include tiredness, restless legs at night, heaviness in the leg, pain, aching, itching, throbbing and swelling, burning or a cramping sensation.