Thrombophlebitis is an inflammation of the vein which usually caused by infection or injury. When this happens, the flow of blood the swollen vein is disturbed and leads to the formation of blood clots that adhere to the wall of the inflamed vein. The resulting disorder is called thrombophlebitis. It generally occurs in the surface veins, because they are at greatest risk of infection or injury, and most often we find it in the lower limbs.
The main symptoms are pain, redness, touch sensitivity, itch and swelling along the vein. If it is an infection, an elevated temperature may occur.
The disease affects women more than men. It is rarely a cause of death. Only one out of 1000 people may die of the immediate consequences of thrombophlebitis. It is more likely that thrombophlebitis will occur in people with varicose or enlarged veins or those in whom treatment requires insertion of tubes or needles into the veins. (Any such procedure can cause thrombophlebitis due to a physical irritation.)
If there is an infection that is not treated, blood poisoning may occur. There is also a small possibility that blood clots, which travel through circulation, get stuck – for example, in deeper veins.
What to do?
If there is no longer infection, thrombophlebitis usually disappears for about a week. In any case, you should contact a physician who will diagnose the onset disease and without any special tests.
Self-help: take one to two aspirins every few hours to relieve pain, and zinc fat, which you can buy without a prescription, to alleviate itching.
Professional help: the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic if it is an infection. He will recommend that you wrap the affected area with elastic bandage to accelerate the blood circulation (in the vein) by pulling blood clots and preventing the formation of new clot. If treated, thrombophlebitis usually disappears completely in a few weeks.