Superficial Thrombophlebitis

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Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST)

superficial thrombophlebitis - superficial blood clot in leg

Superficial Thrombophlebitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST) is an inflammatory condition of the veins caused by a blood clot. While leg veins are most often affected, this condition can also occur elsewhere, like in the arms and neck. If you are experiencing Superficial Thrombophlebitis symptoms like pain, redness, and swelling, we recommend seeking medical evaluation. Although not generally considered serious, ST can lead to more severe issues like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) if left untreated.

If you have varicose veins, a sign of underlying vein disease, you are at greater risk for developing Superficial Thrombophlebitis. At USA Vein Clinics, our vein specialists are available to discuss varicose veins, vein disease, and Superficial Thrombophlebitis treatment

The Risks of Superficial Thrombophlebitis

We recommend discussing your risks for Superficial Thrombophlebitis, varicose veins, and vein disease with a doctor. In general, there are several factors that can increase risk, such as if you…

  • Are female
  • Are obese
  • Are over 60
  • Don’t get enough physical activity
  • Smoke
  • Have a blood clotting disorder
  • Have cancer
  • Have a pacemaker
  • Are pregnant
  • Had a recent IV or catheter

If you are at higher risk for Superficial Thrombophlebitis, this means you are also at risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis. You may be able to reduce some of your risks by making lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and not smoking. 

Symptoms of Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST)

The symptoms of ST are similar to symptoms of varicose veins. However, Superficial Thrombophlebitis pain can be more severe. Also, the location and size of the blood clot can determine which symptoms occur. Symptoms tend to be more painful if the affected vein is close to the skin’s surface. 

Superficial Thrombophlebitis symptoms include:

  • Red, inflamed skin along the affected vein
  • Warmness in the surrounding tissue
  • Tenderness and pain, similar to a bruise
  • Pain in limbs
  • Darkened skin in the area
  • Hardening of the vein

Blood Clots and Superficial Thrombophlebitis 

Blood clots can form due to a variety of different reasons. They can develop into more serious conditions and wreak havoc on health if left untreated. Some causes for blood clots can’t be controlled or prevented, like injuring a vein or inheriting a disorder from a family member. Blood clots may not seem dangerous, but they actually have the potential to cause heart attacks or, in more severe cases, lead to amputation.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis (ST) Prevention

The easiest way to prevent Superficial Thrombophlebitis is to promote good circulation. As mentioned above, ST has the potential to become very serious. It has been linked to the development of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE). 

If you are at risk, we recommend some dietary changes. For example, avoid foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium. Saturated fat is a direct contributor for bad cholesterol. Too much sodium in the diet can mess with blood pressure, which can inhibit proper circulation.

Living a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you can do for your body. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect all the time. Making some relatively minor changes, like taking a short walk each day, can help prevent Superficial Thrombophlebitis and other conditions.

Treatment for Superficial Thrombophlebitis

If you are experiencing Superficial Thrombophlebitis pain or other symptoms, be sure to contact a vein doctor immediately. Only a medical professional can accurately rule out DVT or another potentially life-threatening condition. 

Your doctor will likely recommend you keep the affected leg elevated and take pain medications as needed. They may also prescribe a blood-thinner. These treatments may resolve your symptoms, but some individuals may require additional intervention.

At USA Vein Clinics, we know that varicose and spider veins are signs of vein disease, or venous insufficiency.We specialize in minimally invasive, non-surgical vein treatments. Our treatments are also covered by most insurance plans.

If you have any questions regarding insurance coverage, treatment cost, or doctor availability, feel free to call 888.768.3467. Or, you can schedule an appointment online to get started on your path to a healthier life.

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