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Phlebitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Have you heard of phlebitis?

This is the name given to the circulatory disorder which occurs when the blood vessels get inflamed and which basically affects varicose veins.

In some cases, the area can get worse and blood clots form on the walls of the veins, causing what is known as thrombophlebitis. The areas that it mainly affects are the arms, legs and shoulders.

In this article, you’ll learn about the best remedies for phlebitis.

Types of phlebitis

Depending on the level of severity of the phlebitis, it is classified as:

  • Superficial: the damage is found under the skin, that is to say it affects the veins. However, the blood clots that form are small and in general do not present a health risk.
  • Deep: this occurs in the muscles and tissues. In this case, the quantity of blood is much greater, so there is more pressure on the blood clots. The worrying thing is that they can break off and travel towards the heart, thus blocking the arteries. For this reason, deep phlebitis comes with complications like embolisms and in those cases medical attention is required immediately.


Not all cases are the same, and some people are more prone to it than others.

Some causes include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer problems
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Changes to the blood circulation
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Poor posture
  • Traumatism
  • Burns
  • Bacterial infections


It’s worth mentioning that sometimes phlebitis goes unnoticed and is discovered accidentally. However, there are general symptoms, including:

  • Constant pain in the calves
  • Exaggerated sensitivity
  • The area is warm
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Fever

But, to be more specific, let’s have a look at each category:

Symptoms of superficial phlebitis

  • Fever
  • The pain intensifies when you put pressure on the area
  • Considerable increase in the size of the veins
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Symptoms of deep phlebitis

  • Tachycardia
  • Intense pains in the legs, arms and shoulders, depending on the case
  • Yellowish skin
  • The area is inflamed
  • Sometimes, gangrene can appear in the veins


Once the problem has been identified, it’s very important to see a doctor.

If you follow the medication and the instructions precisely, it’s very likely that the illness will reduce noticeably in a couple of weeks or even in a matter of days if the problem is mild.

  • The first thing you have to do is take painkillers to control the pain.
  • It’s also important to put a refreshing ointment on the area with a gauze on top.
  • Then, apply a bandage that puts pressure on the affected area.
  • A couple of anti-inflammatories are also added to the prescription.
  • Antibiotics are only recommended when the phlebitis is due to an infection.

Home Remedies for phlebitis

1. Cranberries

Cranberry contains an immense quantity of nutrients, as well as properties that dilate the blood vessels like flavonoids, which help treat blood problems. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the pain, the swelling and the redness.

2. Apply cold and heat

This technique is as simple as alternating the temperatures with the purpose of reducing the inflammation, relaxing the muscles and calming the pain.

What you need to do is:

  • Apply a compress with hot water for 10 minutes.
  • Immediately swap it for a cold-water compress and wait.
  • Continue like this for 30 minutes.
  • If the affected area is the leg, raise it to get a better effect.

3. Arnica

Arnica is considered one of the best painkillers in the world of plants. Plus, it also reactivates the blood flow in the arteries and reduces the appearance of bruises.

You can use it as an ointment, an oil, a cream or take it as a tea in small quantities.


The first thing you have to do to prevent phlebitis is improve your circulation.

Sometimes, our daily routine, work and stress do not enable us to move and feed ourselves well. However, it’s important to start to make changes to prevent this condition.

Pay attention to the following:

  • Your diet needs to contain nutrients, a high fiber content, sufficient liquids and little salt so that the cardiovascular system can make the blood flow correctly.
  • Say goodbye to a sedentary lifestyle. If you don’t want to do an exercise routine, then try walking, moving your legs or just lifting them up at night so that the blood doesn’t clot.
  • Control your diet to prevent unexpected weight gain or loss.
  • Keep yourself at room temperature and avoid high temperatures in particular.


  • Move your legs and arms at least once every two hours.
  • At the end of the day, raise your legs, supporting your heels on the wall to get the blood flowing.
  • Take off your shoes occasionally; walking barefoot helps to strengthen your muscles and bones.
  • Do physical activity at least 3 times a week.
  • Avoid cigarettes because they increase the volume of blood and so this causes bad circulation when the blood vessels are obstructed.
  • Don’t ignore the symptoms; if you suddenly have a swelling or pain in the body for no apparent reason, go for a check-up.
  • Use sunblock and avoid sun exposure for long periods of time.
  • Try to sleep with your legs on a pillow.

Remember that this information is only a guide for improving. The opinion of a specialist is essential, especially when it comes to circulatory problems.

Via: MedicineNet | HealthLine | eMedicineHealth

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