Over a long period of having varicose veins, they can cause discomfort and leg swelling. If symptomatic varicose veins are left untreated, this eventually leads to complications. These complications include developing a very itchy rash near the vein which is called venous eczema; some people develop a very tender vein which is called thrombophlebitis. After a long period the skin can become damaged and turn dark, brown and shiny. If left, this can turn into a break in the skin called an ulcer which is slow and difficult to heal. If a very large vein near the surface gets knocked you may suffer very severe bleeding which only stops by putting the leg up in the air.