Your health directory for professionals  

Subscribe today

Contact US






Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein. It can occur in the superficial veins in the legs or in the deep veins in the muscles of the leg or pelvis etc. Symptoms include:

For superficial phlebitis:

Fever is possible
Sleepless nights as the pain worsens
A hard, red vein visible in your leg; the vein may be warm and tender
A throbbing or burning sensation beneath the skin’s surface

For deep phlebitis:

Potentially no symptoms
Pain deep inside the leg and swelling in the ankle.

Phlebitis is often followed by thrombosis, clotting of the blood. It is therefore known as thrombophlebitis. These painful clots can sometimes partially or fully block the flow of blood in the affected veins. Superficial phlebitis is the most common form of phlebitis and it occurs in veins near the skin’s surface, usually in the legs. It is usually painful and uncomfortable, but fortunately it is usually harmless. Deep phlebitis, is less common and more dangerous as it effects the internal veins of the legs. The clots tend to be larger and more able to loosen and travel to other areas. Unfortunately it is possible to not know that you have this problem and it may go untreated.



Varicose veins are the most common cause of phlebitis. Phlebitis can also be caused if when injured a vein is bumped or hurt. People who are immobilized after surgery are also vulnerable as the blood does not flow as strongly and clots can form more easily. The elderly are more at risk, because circulatory problems that can trigger phlebitis usually worsen with age. Phlebitis can also develop in response to an infection or trauma of some kind. There are several types of people that are at risk - women in general, pregnant women, contraceptive pill users, people who are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle, whose blood tends to clot very easily and smokers.

Dietary Considerations


Stop smoking at once, as it worsens the condition. Eat more oily fish such as tuna and salmon, fruit and vegetables, fiber and spicy foods. Drink plenty of filtered water. Try not to stand for long periods of time and once the condition subsides a little try and do some gentle exercise.

Personal Care


There are things you can do at home to ease the pain and help you heal from superficial phlebitis.

Apply a heating pad to swollen areas for relief
Get plenty of rest while you have the condition
When you lie down - boost your legs up so that they are 12 - 24 centimeters above your heart level.

When to seek further professional advice


As soon as you suspect that you have phlebitis; because you need a proper diagnosis and treatment. The symptoms of superficial phlebitis are not gone within a week and if you notice lumps, high fever, or swelling or severe pain throughout the limb.

Alternative/Natural Treatments


Chinese herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths and homoeopaths who are experienced in treating superficial phlebitis and other circulatory problems can be consulted.

Traditional Treatment

Superficial phlebitis can often be treated at home, however make sure that you get your doctor’s opinion on your specific case. Deep phlebitis requires a short stay in hospital. No matter which one you suffer from you should stop smoking, and try to use another form of contraception other than birth control pills if you suffer from this condition. Your doctor will be able to recommend the appropriate from of medication to relieve your symptoms. Special support stockings are available which often help to relieve some of the pain. While you are in hospital, an appropriate course of treatment will be advised if you suffer from deep phlebitis.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 0000-00-00