What Does a Blood Clot Look Like

What does a blood clot look like? How do you know if you have a blood clot or if that mass on your calf is simply varicose veins? It's not easy to tell if you have a blood clot just from looking at the concerning location. Sometimes you will be able to tell if you have a blood clot from how the area looks, but many blood clots are so deep that you will not be able to see them. In fact, many cases of deep thrombophlebitis-blood clots-are undetectable by sight or feeling. Unfortunately, many blood clots go undetected until they break down by themselves or cause complications.

Blood clots can be visible. If a blood clot forms just beneath the surface of the skin, you may see a lump or a hardened cord beneath the skin. It will most likely be red and slightly swollen or it will be bluish in color. If you've ever seen varicose veins, it may look like a varicose vein. It is common for blood clots to form inside varicose veins, so you may find a hardened cord-a blocked or partially blocked vein-within varicose veins, especially on your calves.

More often, you won't be able to see the actual blood clot, but you will see changes in the body part affected. For example, if you get a clot in your right leg, your right calf may swell, turn red and be sensitive to the touch or painful to walk on. Sometimes your skin will become discolored and even form a skin ulcer where the blood is not circulating properly. The area will feel warm to the touch.

If you suspect you have blood clots, you should see your doctor to get a reliable diagnosis and to find out if you need medical attention. Take an aspirin to thin your blood and to encourage the potential clot to break down and visit your physician. You'll want to get in rather quickly, since a harmless blood clot can become serious if the clot dislodges and moves to your heart, lung or brain.

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