A Beginner’s Guide to Venous Skin Ulcers
About 1% of American adults suffer from venous skin ulcers. Also referred to as venomous leg ulcers, these sores usually form because of weak blood circulation in the limb. They can last weeks or years and can lead to more serious problems if left untreated. Let’s discuss the causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of venous skin ulcers.
Venous skin ulcers are common over bony areas where a break in the skin occurs, like the ankle. The veins in the leg may not be sending blood back to the heart as well as they should. In consequence, the blood will backflow creating intense pressure at the end of the leg. This will make it more difficult for a cut to heal. You are susceptible to getting venous leg ulcers if you smoke, are obese, have circulation issues, have varicose veins, or have a former leg injury.
You might have a venous skin ulcer if the area burns or feels itchy, the area is swollen, a rash or dry skin has formed, the appearance of brownish discoloration or a bad-smelling fluid comes from the sore. If an ulcer is infected, you will feel an increase in pain, see pus, or experience a fever.
Compression stockings or bandages are often used to treat venous skin ulcers. The pressure provided by the stocking will enhance circulation, which will improve the body’s ability to heal. You will need to raise your leg for certain lengths of time. In some cases, you may be given antibiotics to help with the infection. Your doctor may suggest surgery, endovenous radiofrequency or laser ablation, or chemical ablation with ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. These procedures will help the ulcer heal and assist in preventing another ulcer.
Lifestyle changes, proper diet, and medication can all contribute to diminishing the chance of venous skin ulcers. Prevention recommendations include: losing weight, reducing your salt intake, regular exercise, not smoking, and controlling high blood pressure or diabetes.
Schedule a consultation
If you exhibit any of the symptoms connected to venous skin ulcers, contact The Reeder Vein Institute to schedule a consultation. You can contact our team at 972-566-3040. We look forward to assisting you and answering your questions.