Phlebitis Pictures - 15 Photos & Images

Phlebitis is a condition in which a vein becomes inflamed. The inflammation may cause pain and swelling.

Superficial phlebitis affects veins on the skin surface. The condition is rarely serious and usually resolves with local treatment of the inflammation with warm compresses and anti-inflammatory medications. Sometimes superficial phlebitis can be associated with deep vein thrombophlebitis and medical evaluation may be needed.

Phlebitis in the deep veins is referred to as deep vein thrombophlebitis (or DVT, deep vein thrombosis) affects the veins located deeper in the arms and legs.

Superficial phlebitis

  • There is usually a slow onset of a tender red area along the superficial veins on the skin. A long, thin red area may be seen as the inflammation follows the path of the superficial vein. It may spread in a spider like pattern if smaller feeder veins become involved.
  • This area may feel hard, warm, and tender. The skin around the vein may be itchy and swollen.
  • The area may begin to throb or burn.
  • Symptoms may be worse when the leg is lowered, especially when first getting out of bed in the morning.
  • A low-grade fever may occur.
  • Sometimes phlebitis may occur at the site where a peripheral intravenous (IV) line was started. The surrounding area may be sore and tender along the vein.
  • If an infection is present, symptoms may include redness, fever, pain, swelling, or breakdown of the skin.
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