blood clots

Blood clots appear after blood coagulates inside blood vessels. Blood clots are a fairly common occurrence and most of them are undetectable because of their small size. Most blood clots break down shortly after they appear. There is a balance between the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) and their break down (thrombolysis) in any healthy human physiology.


Some vein conditions make blood clots more frequents. Here are the factors that can cause the balance between thrombosis and thrombolysis to tilt:

Surgery or injuries can cause tissue trauma
Stasis, which is a condition that causes blood flow to slow down or stop
Hypercoagulability, a tendency to form a high number of blood clot because of a hereditary condition or a higher number of blood clots caused by cancer or even birth control pills
Blood clots in the legs can be formed in either deep veins or in superficial ones

What Is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

Phlebitis refers to the inflammation of a superficial vein caused by the presence of a blood clot in the vein. All the risk factors mentioned above can cause thrombophlebitis. Other factors such as varicose veins or venous insufficiency can cause thrombophlebitis to appear. This is a fairly common condition that affects 300,000 adults every year in the U.S. This condition is most commonly found in varicose veins and the saphenous veins, which refers to superficial veins located between 1 and 3 cm under the skin.

What Are The Risk Factors For Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

Some factors make you more likely to develop superficial thrombophlebitis:

  • Having an inactive lifestyle where you sit or stand for long hours
  • Gaining weight
  • Smoking
  • Being pregnant
  • Using birth control pills or other medications that contain hormones
  • Certain medical conditions

What Are The Symptoms Of Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

Superficial thrombophlebitis is a very uncomfortable condition. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Swelling and redness above the affected vein
  • The area can be tender and even warm
  • Low fever
  • Burning, itchiness and general discomfort of the skin above the affected vein