Have you noticed an area on your leg that’s dark with a lump? This is a common symptom of phlebitis.
It refers to the inflammation of veins, which can cause blood clots called Thrombophlebitis if left untreated.
Here, we’ll go over what causes phlebitis so you can better understand how to treat it.
What Causes Phlebitis?
Phlebitis has many causes but the most common causes are:
- Local trauma or injury to the vein
- Prolonged inactivities like long driving or plane rides
- Insertion of intravenous catheters (IV) in hospitals
- IV induced after surgery, especially orthopedic procedures
- Prolonged immobility, as in hospitalized or bed-ridden patients
- Varicose veins
- Underlying cancers or clotting disorders
- Removal of lymph nodes or after mastectomy for breast cancer
Phlebitis can also occur in individuals whose blood has a tendency to clot, often caused by circulatory issues.
How to Treat Phlebitis
Phlebitis can be treated with:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pain and inflammation
- Blood thinners to prevent clots from enlarging
- Self-care like a healthy diet and exercise
- Warm compress
- Compression stockings
Home Remedies for Phlebitis
Here are some simple at-home treatments to relieve phlebitis symptoms:
- Use warm/cold compresses
- Elevate the affected leg for better blood flow
- Wear compression stockings
- Use over the counter drugs
How Long Does Phlebitis Take to Go Away?
A short-term condition of phlebitis will subside in 1-3 weeks.
How to Prevent Phlebitis
Some preventive measures of phlebitis and thrombophlebitis include:
- Staying hydrated
- Performing leg exercises
- Quit smoking
Can Phlebitis Turn into Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?
If left untreated, phlebitis poses an increased risk of developing blood clots in deeper veins.
The development of a serious blood clot is known as deep vein thrombosis.
One of the primary risks of DVT is a clot breaking free of the blood vessel wall and traveling through the body to the lungs. It can lodge in a pulmonary artery and block blood flow back to the heart. The situation can be life-threatening.
In the event that phlebitis has caused a deep vein thrombosis, hospitalization is often recommended along with anti-blood clot or blood thinner medications and monitoring.
Delaware Advanced Vein Center, our medical staff has years of experience helping people with their spider and varicose veins. We would love to welcome you to our family of satisfied patients.