Another vein disease that isn’t as easily apparent and diagnosable as varicose veins and spider veins is called phlebitis, the symptoms of which are similar to those of lymphedema. Characterized by swelling and pain, the affected areas can be itchy and hot as well. Considered relatively harmless when only the veins close to the surface are affected, phlebitis in the veins deep in your legs can be the sign of something more serious. Treatment by a medical professional who will perform the exam and most likely order lab tests is necessary. Phlebitis can appear in the very young, but tends to be an affliction suffered by people who are 40 and older.
Superficial Phlebitis: Treatment & Symptoms
Affecting only the surface veins, superficial phlebitis is generally minor, easily treatable, and most likely caused by an injury to the veins; bumping your leg into a coffee table can cause phlebitis, especially if you already have a form of vein disease such as varicose veins. Common symptoms include swelling of the vein, burning and throbbing sensations, and itchiness, all of which may be worse in the morning when you lower your leg to get out of bed.
Physician diagnosis and treatment are recommended, but applying hot compresses to the area and taking ibuprofen can help lessen the severity of the symptoms until you can get to a doctor. Superficial Phlebitis treatment in the mildest cases may only require compression garments and ibuprofen; lifestyle changes will be recommended as well.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Phlebitis in the deep veins, or deep vein thrombosis, is a much more serious matter demanding immediate physician intervention. Caused by blood clots that may form due to smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, and genetic predisposition, if not treated, DVT could lead to death. Common symptoms for this type of phlebitis include fever, severe pain, and even chest pains. Treatments may involve blood thinners that are injected into the body and start the thinning process much sooner than medication, as well as antibiotics to help stop any infection that may have begun in the area. As with superficial phlebitis, lifestyle changes will be necessary, including the cessation of smoking and drinking, exercising more, and no longer sitting for extended periods of time.
Superficial phlebitis is easily treatable and responds well to home remedies, but DVT can be life threatening and damaging to the veins, leading to a lifetime of chronic issues. Diagnosis and treatment by a licensed physician is of the utmost importance – especially with DVT. Discovering the cause of DVT early can help lower the risks of developing it in the future.