Inflammation of the veins of the lower extremities symptoms and treatment of phlebitis

Phlebitis is an inflammation of the venous wall, which gradually leads to its destruction. The disease can be acute or chronic. The veins of any part of the body are affected, but most often the inflammation affects the vessels of the legs. It is important to begin timely treatment, since in some cases phlebitis leads to thrombosis, which is a life-threatening condition.

More often, phlebitis develops not against the background of full health, but in the presence of any chronic concomitant disease or traumatic factor. Depending on the causative factor, the inflammation may be aseptic or infectious. Often the onset of inflammation is preceded by varicose veins.

  • mechanical effect: trauma to the vascular wall after catheter placement;
  • exposure to a chemical agent – the wall of the venous vessels reacts to the drug;
  • allergic reaction;
  • infectious process due to the penetration of bacteria, viruses or fungi;
  • venous congestion with varicose veins.

In some cases, phlebitis is caused intentionally by introducing a special composition into a vein affected by varicose veins. As a result, aseptic inflammation begins, the vascular wall scleroses.

There are factors that increase the likelihood of developing such a disease:

  • taking drugs that affect blood coagulation (oral contraceptives);
  • hereditary blood pathology;
  • impaired lymphatic drainage;
  • a sedentary lifestyle or prolonged immobilization;
  • excess weight;
  • excessive exercise;
  • long stay in open sunlight;
  • smoking, alcohol abuse.

There are classifications of phlebitis depending on the etiological factor, involvement in the pathological process of the layers of the vascular wall and the nature of the course.

Types of phlebitis, depending on the defeat of the membranes of the vascular wall:

  • peripheralitis – the outer shell is affected as a result of inflammation of adjacent tissues;
  • endophlebitis – the inflammatory process is localized in the inner shell, the like is most often provoked by trauma during catheterization;
  • panflebitis – all membranes are involved in the inflammatory process.

Depending on the nature of the course, acute (has vivid symptoms) and chronic (often without symptoms) phlebitis are distinguished.

Etiological classification of phlebitis:

  • allergic form – a consequence of the penetration of an allergen into the body, as a rule, a similar type of disease has a chronic course;
  • pain phlebitis develops in the postpartum period, has an acute course, accompanied by severe pain;
  • cerebral form – damage to the veins of the brain;
  • pylephlebitis – inflammation of the portal vein;
  • migrating phlebitis develops in the veins of the arms and legs, at the same time arteries are affected, a long course with relapses is characteristic.
  • post-injection form – the result of a vein injury during catheterization or injection;
  • cubital form – an inflammatory response to the aggressive effect of drugs, for example, after chemotherapy;
  • an infectious form develops in any part of the body as a result of bacterial or viral inflammation;
  • penile phlebitis – a complication of gonorrhea, varicose veins in men.
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Symptoms of phlebitis

Inflammation most often develops in the vessels of the legs. The main symptoms of the acute process are redness and pain. These are signs of the initial stage of the disease. Chronic phlebitis often has a latent course and appears only during an exacerbation. General symptoms appear with severe phlebitis or inflammation of the vessels of the internal organs.

Symptomocomplex with phlebitis depends on the features of localization, the nature and severity of the process. The acute process often develops in the superficial vessels of the leg as a result of varicose veins or in the vessels of the hand after the catheter is inserted.

Symptoms of acute phlebitis:

  • tension
  • soreness and redness of the skin over a vein;
  • the formation of a compacted strand along the vessel;
  • the appearance of red lines on the skin over a vein.

In some cases, acute inflammation is accompanied not only by local manifestations, common signs join: weakness, fever, dizziness. With a protracted form, the symptoms are erased or absent, signs of inflammation appear only during an exacerbation.

Acute inflammation of the deep veins of the legs is manifested by fever, swelling in the lesion, pain syndrome appears. As the disease progresses, the skin changes color and becomes pale. There is no redness or seal, as with a superficial form.

In the absence of therapy, phlebitis of the lower extremities acquires a chronic character and low-symptom treatment, gradually destroying the vascular wall.

The period of remission is accompanied by general manifestations: weakness, fatigue, heaviness towards the end of the day, which disappears after rest.

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Inflammation of the portal vein is a consequence of purulent infectious pathology of the abdominal cavity. The general symptoms of intoxication come to the fore:

  • weakness;
  • vomiting;
  • headache;
  • soreness in the right hypochondrium;
  • yellowness of the skin;
  • sweating;
  • chills.

With the progression of the disease, critical damage to the internal organs and death can occur. Chronization of the process is fraught with the development of insufficiency of the liver and kidneys.

Migratory phlebitis

Migratory phlebitis is an allergic pathology that relates to systemic vesiculitis. Often occurs against a background of autoimmune diseases, at risk are young men.

As a rule, the veins of the legs or arms become inflamed.

It begins with the symptoms of superficial phlebitis: thickened cords appear, the skin acquires a reddish tint, tissue swelling forms, and pain appears.

Foci of lesion migrate: changes occur alternately, in some cases simultaneously in different vessels, for example, on the arm and leg. The general condition often remains satisfactory, with the exception of a slight increase in temperature. In case of damage to several veins, weakness, fatigue appears.

With phlebitis of the penis, swelling of the tissues spreads to the foreskin and scrotum, a painful seal in the form of a strand on the back is found, the penis is in a state of half-erection.

As a rule, the disease responds well to therapy.

However, if you do not consult a doctor on time, cicatricial complications can occur, leading to residual puffiness, which you will not be able to get rid of.

Phlebitis on the face is manifested by redness of the skin, later this area darkens, becomes brown, then turns pale. The danger of this form is the proximity of the affected veins to the brain.

With mechanical trauma to the vein during catheterization, post-injection phlebitis may develop. Above the inflamed vessel, the skin acquires a red tint, becomes painful, edema is detected. The veins in the hand are dilated. Soreness extends to the entire arm, up to the shoulder, mobility is limited.

The likelihood of developing postinjection inflammation of the vein depends largely on the health worker performing the injection or dropping. There is a scale for assessing phlebitis, with the help of which the condition of the skin area on the arm after the catheter is determined.

If pathological changes of varying severity are detected, the nurse follows an algorithm of actions to prevent the progression of inflammation. Soreness is the main symptom of phlebitis of the upper extremities and treatment consists in the appointment of analgesics.

Cerebral phlebitis is an inflammation of the veins of the brain due to a purulent process on the face. The main symptoms: headache and increased blood pressure. Against the background of the progression of the disease, general weakness increases, neurological manifestations join in: confusion, insomnia, fainting, and speech impairment.

Complications of phlebitis

In the absence of timely treatment, phlebitis complications develop. The most dangerous consequence is thrombosis followed by a clot. Moving along the vascular bed, thrombotic masses can reach the pulmonary artery and cause its blockage.

  • Tela;
  • thrombosis;
  • vascular insufficiency;
  • abscess.


If there are complaints of pain, reporting along the vein, the appearance of seals, the patient should consult a specialist. Diagnosis of phlebitis is often not difficult and is based on complaints and examination of the patient. To obtain detailed information about the nature of the disease and its severity, a comprehensive examination is performed.

Measures for the diagnosis of phlebitis:

  • clinical blood tests: general, coagulogram, prothrombin index determination, thromboelastogram;
  • duplex vein scan;
  • Ultrasound of the internal organs;
  • contrast phlebography;
  • phlebomanometry;
  • computed tomography with contrast;
  • phleboscintigraphy.


The goals of therapy: restoration of blood circulation, prevention of complications. If superficial phlebitis of the lower extremities is detected, treatment on an outpatient basis is allowed, if deep veins or vessels of the internal organ are affected, the patient is sent for hospitalization, since there is a risk of complications.

  • painkillers;
  • drugs from the NSAID group (Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen);
  • anticoagulants in the form of ointments (based on Heparin);
  • phlebitis ointments based on phlebotonics (Troxevasinum);
  • drugs to improve trophism (Actovegin);
  • antiplatelet agents (Aspirin);
  • antibiotics (with bacterial etiology of the disease);
  • antihistamines (with an allergic nature, pathologists – Suprastin);
  • if thrombosis is detected, injections of anticoagulants are prescribed.

The choice of the drug, the dosage regimen and the duration of the course are carried out by the doctor individually for each patient.

In the treatment of inflammation of the veins, physiotherapy shows good results:

  • infrared radiation stimulates blood circulation and metabolism in tissues, improves tissue regeneration and reduces pain;
  • phototherapy improves blood flow, dilates blood vessels, reduces edema;
  • acupuncture is effective in the initial stage and for the treatment of a chronic form;
  • magnetotherapy improves blood circulation, normalizes the condition of the venous wall, reduces blood viscosity;
  • mud therapy is effective in the initial stages of pathology.


In addition to following all the doctor’s recommendations regarding the regimen, taking medications and physiotherapy, you should reconsider your lifestyle: refusing alcohol, smoking, and a gradual increase in physical activity will prevent phlebitis and its relapses. After the acute inflammation subsides, compression knitwear should be worn.

Causes of phlebitis in humans

The causes of the disease are many. The following can be distinguished:

  • the presence of varicose veins is the main reason for the development of the disease;
  • low motor activity;
  • prolonged stay in a standing position;
  • various kinds of chemical burns of veins from aggressive drugs introduced into them;
  • excess weight, resulting in a large load on the veins;
  • prolonged and improper use of needles inserted into veins for injection of drugs, which leads to vascular damage;
  • the presence of concomitant diseases like boils, abscess, tuberculosis;
  • entry into the vein of streptococci, which are the main causative agents of the disease;
  • prolonged constipation;
  • allergic reactions that provoke the onset of the disease;
  • poor blood coagulation.

The main reason for the development of phlebitis of the lower extremities is varicose veins. This is one of the most common causes of phlebitis. Also, this disease can occur as a result of an infection (the causative agents of which are streptococci), mechanical damage to venous vessels (intravenous injection or infusion (infusion), blood sampling), chemical burns after injection.

The cause of phlebitis (thrombophlebitis) is the introduction of microorganisms into the vein wall. Inflammation without the participation of microorganisms (allergic inflammation) is rarely observed.

The development of phlebitis and thrombophlebitis can contribute to some causes, both local and general. These include:

  • veins expansion;
  • impaired venous circulation (venous congestion);
  • damage to the wall of a vein or underlying tissue;
  • changes in blood chemistry, etc.

The causative agents of phlebitis are mainly pyogenic microbes. Gonorrhea, syphilitic, actinomycotic phlebitis also occurs. Phlebitis more often occurs as a result of the transition of the inflammatory process from some nearby focus (phlegmon, abscess, erysipelas, etc.). Another pathway for microbial penetration is hematogenous. Sometimes microbes are introduced along with an infected blood clot.

The immediate causes of thrombosis and the occurrence of thrombophlebitis are a slowdown in blood flow, increased blood coagulation.

In the occurrence of these disorders, the main role belongs to the nervous system (occurring under the influence of changes in the nervous system, vasospasm and trophic disorders in the vascular walls).

Thus, for the intravital formation of a blood clot in the lumen of a blood vessel, the state of the blood and vascular wall is important. Almost always, blood coagulation also occurs with damage to the vessel wall (veins).

Thrombophlebitis of the veins of the lower extremities

The formation of thrombosis in the postoperative period is promoted by an increase in the amount of fibrinogen, as well as the entry of infection from the surgical wound.

It is clear that phlebitis is based on infectious inflammation. To do this, you must either mechanically disrupt the vascular wall, or the permeability of the venous wall should be so high due to a long-term current disease:

  • Medical manipulations (after a catheter, a long stay in intensive care, installation of shunts for chronic hemodialysis). These injuries are called iatrogenic, or caused by medical activity;
  • In the case of a chemical burn of a vein with a medicine, for example, calcium chlor >

Despite all of the above factors, the main reason for the development of phlebitis in middle-aged, elderly people, as well as in pregnant women, is varicose veins of the lower extremities. It is a violation of the outflow of venous blood and the development of chronic venous insufficiency of the vessels of the lower extremities that is responsible for the development of acute venous inflammation.

Risk Factors

What conditions and diseases can lead to the development of phlebitis of the lower extremities?

  • First of all, this, as it was said, is varicose veins and a pre-varicose condition, which can only be diagnosed instrumentally;
  • Metabolic disorders: diabetes, overweight and obesity;
  • Inactivity – like lack of movement in the workplace;
  • Industrial hazards – long-term upright position (machinists, couriers, sellers, surgeons);
  • The state of pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, 2 and 3 trimesters are especially dangerous.

Phlebitis Classification

The vascular wall of the vein is heterogeneous. It consists of several layers. Accordingly, inflammation of the vein is divided into several types:

  • endophlebitis. Inflammation begins from the inside, from the lumen of the vessel. Outside, the vein is not yet inflamed, the process is considered limited;
  • peripheralitis – the opposite situation: the outer membrane of the vein becomes inflamed. The advantage of periphlebitis is the fact that there is no contact of the inflammatory process with blood flow. A synonym is surface phlebitis. That is why peripheralitis should be treated more quickly until complete inflammation has developed.
  • Panflebitis is a complete inflammation of the venous wall throughout its thickness. As a rule, it develops as a result of the progression of endo – or periphlebitis.

Symptoms of thrombophlebitis and phlebitis. Clinical picture

Symptoms of phlebitis are quite diverse and depend on the form and type of disease.

The following symptoms are characteristic of acute and chronic phlebitis of superficial veins:

  • the vein becomes tense and very painful;
  • there is redness and tightening of the skin, local hyperthermia (fever in this area of ​​the body);
  • the appearance of red stripes along the location of the venous vessel.

Acute and chronic phlebitis of deep veins accompany:

  • pain and swelling in the area of ​​inflammation;
  • fever of the whole body (general hyperthermia);
  • the skin becomes milky white.

With cerebral phlebitis, there are:

  • headache;
  • blood pressure rises;
  • neurological symptoms.

A characteristic symptom of pylephlebitis is severe purulent intoxication.

Vein phlebitis is, in essence, its inflammation. It usually develops due to the progression of varicose veins, however, it can also be observed after an incorrect injection or frequent catheterization of the same vessel.

There are 3 main types of phlebitis depending on the affected “layer” of the vein. With peripheral inflammation, the inflammatory process occurs in the outer shell of the vessel.

In this case, the cause of the disease is most often a chronic disease, the infection from which spreads throughout the body and causes inflammation.

With endophlebitis, on the contrary, the inner lining of the vessel is affected. Most often, endophlebitis occurs when damage to the integrity of the vein, for example, after injection or catheterization, burns or injuries.

Panflebitis is the most severe and advanced form of the disease. With this type of pathology, the inflammatory process occurs in all layers of the vein.

Most often, panflebitis is the last stage of other forms of the disease and develops due to the lack of necessary therapy or improper self-treatment.

Phlebitis on the arm is also classified depending on the causes and localization of inflammation. In this case, we are talking about such forms as:

  • Allergic – this type of inflammation occurs due to the action of allergens on the body’s receptors; in this case, the disease lasts a long time and sluggishly, without “outbreaks” of symptoms.
  • Infectious – it is logical that the development of this form of the disease is associated with infectious tissue damage, reproduction and development of bacteria, most often some types of cocci.
  • Painful – with this type, labor is distinguished among causes; the course of pain phlebitis is accompanied by severe pain.
  • Migrating – as well as an allergic form, it refers to chronic varieties of the disease; occurs with relapses – periodically increasing inflammation in certain parts of the vessel.
  • Postinjection – in this case, the disease develops after medical interventions: injections, catheterization, droppers, etc .; inflammation develops as a reaction of the body to the chemical and mechanical effects of the drug on human tissue

Phlebitis of the veins of the hand is most often associated with post-injection or allergic forms, since with inflammation of the veins of the lower extremities, the cause is varicose vessels. Phlebitis on the upper extremities usually occurs as a complication after a dropper.

The risk of developing an inflammatory process depends on the size of the inserted catheter and the location of the manipulation. In addition, an excessively aggressive fluid (drug) or a prolonged presence of a catheter in a vein cavity can also cause pathology.

Among other factors affecting the development of inflammation and not related to medical interventions, it should be mentioned:

  • Smoking.
  • Excessive exercise, in which the veins are overloaded.
  • Any pathology in which the walls of the vessels are stretched – dilated veins are a favorable environment for the inflammatory process.
  • Abscesses, boils and other purulent skin diseases.
  • Inflammation of the internal organs.
  • Injuries.
  • The period of bearing a child, etc.


There are inflammation of the superficial and internal veins. Depending on which vessels are affected, certain symptoms will develop. Phlebitis of superficial veins is noticeable for the patient.

Pain sensations and a feeling of tension at the site of inflammation quickly enough appear. The skin in the affected area becomes red and hot to the touch. Other obvious symptoms also include general hyperthermia (fever), weakness, and dizziness.

In the chronic form of the disease, symptoms are less pronounced and are observed only during periods of exacerbation.

If the patient has an acute form of phlebitis of internal veins, then the site of inflammation becomes swollen and hot to the touch, which also causes pain. The main difference between these two types of disease in terms of symptoms is the color of the skin near the phlebitis. With the defeat of deep vessels, it does not redden, but rather, becomes milky white.


The treatment of phlebitis is conservative, using drugs.

For therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibacterial drugs (to prevent further infection), anticoagulants (prevent excessive clotting and blood clots) are used. As a physiotherapeutic measure, rewinding of the hands with an elastic bandage is prescribed – this helps restore blood flow.

If the affected vein is still infected, then additional treatment methods are needed to prevent spasm and thrombosis of the vessels, relieve inflammation and swelling, increase venous circulation, improve blood density, restore lymph circulation.

Local use of heparin and troxevasin ointment is prescribed. If the cause of phlebitis on the arm is an incorrect injection, the patient is prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Depending on the complexity of the case, they can be applied topically or orally.

With a simple, superficial phlebitis, a slight swelling and soreness along the inflamed vein appear. Sometimes on the skin, respectively vein, redness in the form of a red strip is noticeable. A slight swelling of the limb appears. The temperature rises.

When a blood clot occurs in a vein, it is palpated in the form of a dense painful cord. If deep phlebitis (thrombophlebitis) develops, edema of the corresponding limb and slight cyanotic staining appear. Cooling of the limb is often observed, depending on the reflex spasm of the artery. The patient first notes pain in the muscles, which intensify with the development of the process.

Thrombophlebitis is most often observed in the veins of the lower extremities, which is associated with difficulty in blood circulation in them, especially with varicose veins.

Of particular clinical significance is the separate localization of thrombophlebitis. So, it is often necessary to meet thrombophlebitis of the deep vein of the femur that occurs in the postpartum period, in connection with purulent processes in the small pelvis.

Such thrombophlebitis is observed, as a rule, on the left side, which is explained by the features of the anatomical development of veins on the left. The limb at the same time sharply swells and acquires a pale color, which gave reason to call this disease phlegmasia alba dolens. This thrombophlebitis is very difficult to treat. It happens that the inflammatory phenomena subside, but the edema of the limb remains for a very long time, sometimes for life.

Of particular note is thrombophlebitis of the veins of the face, which develops as a result of purulent processes on the face (boil, carbuncle, otitis media, erysipelas), thrombosis sinus sigmoideus et transversus.

Serious diseases include thrombophlebitis of the portal portal vein of the liver, known as “pylephlebitis”, which sometimes occurs as a complication after destructive appendicitis, less often after dysentery, typhoid fever.

With the development of purulent thrombophlebitis, all clinical symptoms intensify sharply. The temperature rises to high numbers (38-39 ° C), often chills. The pain is much worse. Leukocytosis and a left shift appear in the white blood formula. Swelling of the limbs increases.

  • with superficial phlebitis, redness spreads along the site of the inflamed vessel on the skin. The clinical symptom is streaks along the vessels;
  • over the same area, a hotter skin temperature is determined;
  • there is a regional seal over this area of ​​the skin;
  • with phlebitis of deeply lying veins, the color of the skin, on the contrary, is pale, marble, has a milky-white hue, since the focus of inflammation is deep. In this case, the skin color resembles a blister with urticaria, even sometimes with a porcelain – white tint, due to spasm of the skin vessels.

In the event that phlebitis is acute, then symptoms of the general reaction of the body are possible: fever, malaise, chills, general weakness appears.

If the body’s immunity is reduced due to the prolonged course of a chronic infection, then the symptoms may not be so obvious, alternating exacerbations – remissions are characteristic. In this case, the fever is intermittent in nature, appearing with exacerbations and calming down with a decrease in the intensity of inflammation.

The outcome of phlebitis is almost always the formation of blood clots, a condition called thrombophlebitis. Thrombophlebitis, unfortunately, in most cases is the condition with which the history of the Russian patient begins. It is blood clots that are detected during initial treatment in most smokers, and this indicates a low sanitary culture of the population, “disregard” for their health, and unwillingness to visit a doctor for preventive purposes, considering it a waste of time.

  • heat;
  • pain in a vein or even in the entire limb;
  • pigmentation at the site where the vein has become inflamed;
  • seal on the vein;
  • broken condition, lethargy, constant fatigue.

Symptoms similar to those with varicose veins are characteristic of phlebitis of the lower extremities. This is expressed in the appearance on the legs of swelling, heaviness and even ulcers.

With pylephlebitis, when the abdominal vein becomes inflamed, the symptoms are very extensive and include:

  • liver pain and enlarged liver;
  • slow pulse;
  • swelling of the legs, arms;
  • yellowness of the skin;
  • very high temperature;
  • enlarged spleen;
  • vomiting;
  • severe bloating;
  • low pressure;
  • headache;
  • accumulation of water in the peritoneum;
  • lack of urine in the bladder, which makes it difficult to urinate;
  • chills.


To establish a diagnosis and prescribe immediate treatment, we invite you to contact the specialists of the Central Clinical Hospital of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.

The speed of diagnosis of phlebitis depends on the patient’s patience. In the event that a person is not inclined to seek meetings with a vascular surgeon in case of symptoms of inflammation, he risks thrombosis, since a simple examination is enough to urgently appoint an ultrasound of the vessels.

Visualization methods for phlebitis are used in complex and unclear cases, because in the case of endophlebitis, the use of contrast agents in the lumen of the vessel is contraindicated, since this process can stimulate the formation of thrombosis.

An important method is bacteriological. If pathogens are isolated as a result of blood culture, it is necessary to determine their sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.

Symptoms and treatment of vein phlebitis on the arm

Any treatment for diseases of this group includes three possible options:

  • conservative option;
  • surgical;
  • using traditional medicine methods.

Conservative treatment is most common in such cases. But for a specific type of disease, different approaches to treatment are used.

In the treatment of phlebitis of the lower extremity, ointments are most often used. The choice is made in favor of ointments “Heparin” or “Troxevasin”. Additionally, anti-inflammatory therapy is carried out by prescribing “Reopirin” or “Aspirin”. Additionally, they can prescribe “Glivenol”, “Trental”. Usually, treatment takes place at home. In a hospital patient is placed in serious cases.

Only medical treatment to cure phlebitis of the lower extremities will not succeed. Physiotherapy is required.

The general complex of therapy for this type of disease involves such measures:

  • compliance with the rest of the patient;
  • antibiotic treatment;
  • additional intake of drugs that enhance blood circulation in the veins;
  • diet and smoking cessation, if any;
  • physiotherapy, which includes herbal medicine, treatment with leeches;
  • taking anti-inflammatory drugs without steroids;
  • taking medications that thin the blood.

The total complex of all drugs that are taken with this ailment can be identified as follows:

  • blood thinners (“Cardiomagnyl”, “Aspirin”);
  • fighting inflammation and pain (Ketonov, Ibuprofen);
  • used externally (heparin ointment, “Troxevasin”);
  • improving blood circulation (Trental, Actovegin).

If phlebitis cannot be treated with conservative methods, then they resort to surgery. This is a pretty extreme measure.

Now known is a method of surgical treatment of the disease, as a crossectomy. Its essence lies in the removal of that part of the vein that was affected by the disease. This is usually done using laser surgery.

Additionally, vein bypass surgery can be performed if the disease previously affected the pelvic or femoral vessels. Surgical bypass surgery is performed, creating special branches in the vessels so that the outflow of blood inside the veins is stable and unhindered.

Phlebitis in most cases is subject to complex treatment with conservative methods. Perhaps outpatient treatment, and with a severe course of the disease, the patient is subject to hospitalization. With certain indications, surgery is prescribed.

The treatment includes:

  • Drug therapy (painkillers, antiviral drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, etc.)
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures
  • Wearing compression underwear
  • Disease Prevention

Venous capillaries consist of three membranes. The inner layer is the endothelium, with which uniform elements and plasma, fragments, proteins are in contact. The endothelium lines the lumen of the vessel and creates the rudiments for the formation of the valve system. The lower layer is protected by connective tissue – this is the middle shell. The vein is covered with a muscle layer – the outer membrane.

Inflammatory processes that affect one of them or several layers of the vein at once is called phlebitis. The disease is dangerous, because it provokes the formation of parietal clots in the lumen of the venous vessel.

Inflammation of the walls of venous vessels can occur in any part of the body. Favorite place of phlebitis is the lower limbs, sometimes the disease “rises” up, involving the upper limbs of the patient.

Phlebitis of the veins of the hands is acute and chronic. It develops due to venous insufficiency or varicose veins. The pathological changes that have occurred in the vascular wall appear externally in the form of swelling and hyperemia.

Depending on which layer is damaged, the type of phlebitis depends.


The pathological process can affect the superficial and deeper veins, layers of the venous wall.

Classification depends on the place of exposure of various factors of pathogenic etiology:

  • if the pathological process has affected the outer shell, then peripheralitis develops;
  • if the damage touched the endothelial layer, then endophlebitis. Compared with periphlebitis, it is somewhat more common;
  • if inflammation or infection involves all the walls of the venous vessel in the pathological process, panflebitis develops.

It differs in the nature of the flow:

  • the acute form occurs suddenly, and is characterized by severe symptoms;
  • the chronic form is a latent type of pathology that has not been known about itself for several years.

Hand phlebitis can be deep and superficial. In both cases, if untreated, the risk of adverse effects and complications is increased.


  • There are several reasons for this phenomenon and factors that increase the risk of phlebitis.
  • The main reason for the development of phlebitis is intravenous injection, as a result of which the vein wall is damaged.
  • Frequent injections, injuries of the venous wall, prolonged wearing of a catheter and the unskilled actions of medical staff exacerbate the process, causing a risk of infection.
  • Other, no less common, reasons include:
  • varicose veins of the hands and venous insufficiency;
  • hormonal changes – pregnancy, menopause, endocrine diseases;
  • chemical burn of veins when taking blood or administering a drug;
  • physical passivity or vice versa excessive activity, such as strength training;
  • systemic blood diseases;
  • venostasis of the upper extremities.

Factors that increase the risk of developing an ailment include: overweight, bad habits, exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Often develops in individuals injecting drugs into the ulnar veins. In addition to the fact that these actions threaten human life, there is a trauma to the venous wall:

  • blood vessels become hard;
  • injection sites become inflamed;
  • infection joins;
  • the composition of the blood is disturbed and its density changes;
  • a burn with drugs is not excluded.

It should be noted that not every injection in a person develops inflammation. The basis of the disease is the immunological factor, which can at some point malfunction and lead to such consequences.

Why is it dangerous

The danger lies in the trauma of the endothelial layer, where the accumulation of shaped elements, fibrin filaments and microparticles takes place.

The formed clot blocks the blood flow, causes blood clotting, and increases the permeability of the blood walls. A parietal formation (thrombus) can come off, which will entail a dangerous condition of the patient with a possible fatal outcome.

Phlebitis is accompanied by deformation of the vascular wall, general weakness and a number of peculiar symptoms.

As manifested

The following symptoms are characteristic of inflammation of the veins of the upper extremities:

  • swelling at the injection site;
  • hyperemia;
  • vague boundaries of redness of the skin;
  • itching and pain along the localization of the vessel;
  • burning sensation in the vein area;
  • cyanosis of the skin of the hands;
  • numbness of the fingers;
  • vessel hyperemia and hardness of the outer shell.

Symptoms, as the pathological process progresses, intensifies and becomes pronounced.

In the chronic form of pathology, there is no clinical manifestation, but when provoking factors occur, the ailment acquires an acute course and the corresponding symptoms.

Phlebitis is treated by phlebologists and angiosurgeons. This is a separate type of medicine, or rather a subspecies of vascular surgery.

The patient’s initial appeal with the appropriate complaints is directed to the therapist, who sends the patient to specialized specialists.


Differential diagnosis is carried out to establish an accurate diagnosis, and includes several examination methods: laboratory tests and hardware methods.

Laboratory tests include:

  • clinical blood test;
  • biochemical research;
  • coagulogram.

Laboratory tests are standard diagnostic methods used regardless of the type of pathological process of the circulatory system.

No less important is the interrogation by the doctor of the patient, the collection of anamnesis and the external examination of a patient with the eye of a highly specialized professional.


  1. Anti-inflammatory therapy is carried out depending on the severity and clinical manifestations.
  2. Treatment can be done on an outpatient basis and in a hospital setting.
  3. Non-traditional methods of treatment, agreed with the phlebologist, are allowed.
  4. In addition to medical treatment, phlebologists recommend normalizing nutrition and abandoning bad habits.

Inpatient therapy is indicated for patients with a pronounced clinical picture and a tendency to complications. Inpatient treatment includes the following groups of pharmacy drugs:

  1. Broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs in combination with prebiotics (Acipol or Linex). Antibiotic therapy is especially indicated if the cause of the pathology was a poor-quality injection.
  2. Local anti-inflammatory drugs (ointments and gels).
  3. Painkillers and decongestants, both general and local.
  4. To restore the blood structure and prevent stagnation, anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents are prescribed: Warfarin, Heparin ointment.
  5. To restore the function of the veins, as well as to maximize the speed of the recovery process, physiotherapy is used: UHF, laser therapy and magnetotherapy.


When treating at home, preference is given to external ointments:

  • Troxevasin;
  • Heparin ointment;
  • iodine grid;
  • compresses from petroleum jelly and alcohol.

As non-traditional recipes, compresses from cabbage leaves, grated potatoes and calendula infusion are popular.

Alternative methods should be used after consulting a doctor, and supplement treatment with drugs and traditional gels.

It is important to maintain therapy with chemist’s blood thinners.

Subject to all recommendations, side effects are excluded. However, often “home” therapy ends with complications, and the doctor is forced to resort to another way to eliminate inflammation.

Vein phlebitis on the arm treatment, methods, medicines, folk remedies

Folk remedies can be effective along with taking medications. In such cases, you should always consult with your doctor in advance.

The following remedies may help:

  • infusion of beet leaves;
  • iodine gr >

Treatment of the disease with folk remedies

Beetroot tincture is used inside after a meal and is prepared simply: leaves are poured with boiling water, insisted before cooling. A compress of fern or wormwood with sour cream through gauze is applied to diseased veins for 4 nights.

A collection of herbs for the last recipe is poured with boiling water and placed in a thermos for half a day. Use an infusion of about 6 weeks in half a glass 3 times a day.

As manifested

Phlebitis: diagnostic methods, treatment and prevention of the disease

Thrombophlebitis should be treated by an experienced doctor. He thinks out therapy depending on the severity of the disease, prescribes drugs and their dosage.

In order for phlebitis and thrombophlebitis not to develop, it is necessary to exclude the ingress of infections, take drugs on time, if there is increased blood clotting, if there is a risk of the disease, bandage the limbs with an elastic bandage in time.

This complication is already fraught with the appearance of blood clots in the vessels, which sooner or later leads to pulmonary embolism. Thromboembolism is dangerous for human life, as it can lead to death by cardiac arrest. It is important to diagnose the disease in time, identifying its causes.

  • women during and after pregnancy;
  • inactive people;
  • hospital patients undergoing dropper treatment;
  • overweight people;
  • people who spend a lot of time on their feet;
  • people with allergies.

Phlebitis is possible in pregnant women

For example, in women after childbirth, the likelihood of acquiring painful phlebitis is high.

If there is a disease of superficial veins, then the skin in the affected areas becomes red, hot and irritated. Almost always accompanied by fever.

With a cerebral form of phlebitis in patients, the following symptoms can be noted:

  • dizziness;
  • cramps up to seizures;
  • nausea with vomiting;
  • high blood pressure;
  • problems with vision;
  • headache;
  • shaky gait;
  • speech impairment;
  • semi-conscious state;
  • the inability to move the fingers and toes.

When a patient has acute phlebitis of deep veins, then there is an increased body temperature, pallor of the skin, its swelling.

With a migrating form, the skin in the affected areas turns red, swells. The disease, as it were, “migrates” and jumps from one vein to another.

The ailment in the chronic stage usually proceeds quite smoothly with periodic exacerbations and their further attenuation.

  • avoid strong loads on the veins, engage in moderate physical labor;
  • Do not injure your veins by using needles and catheters correctly and safely;
  • exclude from the food products with soy, spinach, wild rose, if the blood has a high viscosity;
  • undergo annual vein diagnostics and, if necessary, immediately seek help from a specialist, avoiding self-medication.

It is important to change nutrition: a phlebitis diet involves the use of blood-thinning foods. In addition, it is important to visit a phlebologist regularly to eliminate the risk of relapse. For the prevention of phlebitis, it is important to treat infectious diseases on time, to treat skin lesions, especially before injections.

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Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.