What Is Superficial Phlebitis?


Your legs have two sets of veins that carry blood back and forth the between your legs and your heart and lungs. One set – the deep veins – is located close to the bones. They cannot be seen in everyday life. You can see the other network of veins that is located just beneath the skin. These are the superficial veins.

Blood clots can develop in any of these veins. When a clot develops in the deep veins, this is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When a DVT breaks free, it can travel to the heart or lungs, causing a life-threatening situation. 

In the superficial veins, clots are less dangerous but they can still be uncomfortable. When a blood clot forms in one of these veins, an inflammatory reaction typically occurs. When you have a swollen vein, this is called superficialphlebitis

Signs of superficial phlebitis include:

  • pain

  • swelling

  • warmth

  • redness

You should see your board-certified podiatrist right away any time you experience unexplained swelling in your feet, ankles, or lower legs. With years of specialized training and experience, your foot doctor is the best-qualified medical professional to diagnose and treat the source of your discomfort. The good news is that, if your podiatrist diagnoses superficial phlebitis, the condition is uncomfortable, but not dangerous. 

Treatment options for superficial phlebitis include:

  • frequent rest and elevation of the legs

  • prescription and over-the-counter medication for inflammation 

  • warm compresses applied over the area of inflammation

  • relief of swelling with compression stockings and/or venous leg pumps

  • surgery, but only in extreme cases

If you are concerned about blood clots or anything else related to the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to the podiatrist is in order. Schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our modern, comfortable Pikesville office. Call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care’s friendly staff at 443-872-7052 or click here to get started today.