Varicose veins are a very common problem, appearing as twisting, bulging, rope-like cords on the legs. They are the result of problems with the valves within the venous system of the leg. All the veins in the leg contain one-way valves that keep blood flowing from the legs up towards the heart. When the valves become faulty, the blood gets accumulated in the vein, making it enlarged and swollen, called varicose veins. The veins become weak and twisted, and the lumps bulge out from just under the surface of the skin. Varicose veins usually occur in the legs but they can also be formed in other parts of the body.