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Superficial Phlebitis

Pain and Clots in the Veins

By Primepares G. Pal, M.D., and Jacqueline S. Pal, CNP

Superficial thrombophlebitis, commonly called phlebitis, is the inflammation of one or more veins just beneath the skin. Phlebitis typically occurs in the legs; less frequently it may involve veins of the arms. A small thrombus, or blood clot, forms in the vein, but usually does not result in serious problems. Common symptoms of phlebitis include inflammation, swelling, and tenderness. Often, there is a painful, tender lump or cord that can be felt just under the skin. The skin surrounding the clot may feel hot and appear reddened.

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