Venous inflammation (phlebitis)
Usually the superficial veins are affected (superficial phlebitis). The inflammation occurs often in connection with varicose veins in the veins of the legs, although the veins of the arms and, rarely, the veins of the face and neck can also be affected. As a rule, phlebitis is restricted locally and can sometimes be very painful. The affected segment of the vein is visible as a red, warm and often swollen area on the skin. Inflammation caused by bacteria may cause fever.
A specialist (phlebologist, angiologist, vascular surgeon, dermatologist) must be consulted immediately: blood clots (thromboses) may develop as a result of the venous inflammation. If a deep leg vein is inflamed, this may cause a thrombosis that is also called deep vein thrombosis or phlebothrombosis.
If the thrombosis is swept into the lung, this is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be lethal.
Causes of venous inflammation
What happens if venous inflammation remains untreated?
Tips for everyday living that can prevent venous inflammation:
- Drink adequate amounts of fluids
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods
- Do foot exercises to energize the venous pump
- Treat varicose veins
- Wear medical compression stockings every day if your legs already have varicose veins
- Stop smoking