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If you have venous insufficiency, a condition that causes abnormal blood flow in the legs, then you are at risk for a venous ulcer. If you suspect you have a venous ulcer in Houston, call a vein specialist right away for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, the ulcer can become infected and cause significant health issues. Here is what you need to know.

Preventing Venous Ulcers

If you have been diagnosed with venous insufficiency, it is important to take steps that can improve your blood flow to reduce the risk of developing an ulcer. Walking every day, wearing compression stockings, and lifting your legs above your head when lying down can all improve blood flow. Endovenous ablation and ambulatory phlebectomy can permanently address venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Your vein specialist may recommend one of these treatments if you have visible varicose veins that are uncomfortable to you or if you have a history of venous ulcers. If you have a chronic medical condition that makes you prone to infections, like diabetes, be sure to follow your treatment plan closely.

Treating Infected Venous Ulcers

If you develop venous ulcers, your vein specialist may recommend treatments to reduce the risk of infection, such as topical or oral antibiotics. He or she may also recommend debridement, during which dead and diseased tissue around an ulcer is removed to stimulate the appearance of healthier tissue. Sometimes, multiple debridement treatments are necessary. The same activities that boost circulation to the lower legs can also hasten the healing of venous ulcers.

When ulcers become infected, they may look red, feel hot to the touch, and be painful. In these situations, antibiotics are needed to reverse the infection. You may also need skin grafting, if the ulcer is slow to heal or particularly deep. When you have an infected ulcer, controlling your chronic medical conditions becomes even more important in order to avoid additional complications. Early treatment of infected ulcers is also essential to stop the infection from getting worse.