veins are very small veins caused by a dilation of the small veins
under your skin. This occurs when the pressure inside the vein increases
enough to overcome normal resistance of the vein wall. The ability
of veins to resist increased pressure is reduced in women when the
blood level of estrogen and progesterone is reduced.
Reticular veins are small, bluish colored veins that carry blood
to the skin venules and therefore, are larger. These veins have
thin walls and dilate with excessive venous pressure. When this
occurs, they become large enough to be unsightly, but are not considered
to be varicose veins.
Varicose veins are large, bulging veins often associated with
tired, painful or achy legs. Sometimes varicose veins are deeper
under the skin surface and not visible, however, the symptoms
tend to be the same. Faulty valves in the veins, which allow some
blood circulation to flow back instead of continuing on course
to the heart, cause varicose veins.