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If you suffer from venous ulcers in Houston, you are not alone. Venous ulcers are caused by venous insufficiency. It is essential to contact a physician who specializes in venous insufficiency treatment as soon as you notice any darkening or thickening of the skin. A vein treatment center can treat uncomfortable symptoms and may even be able to prevent an ulcer from forming altogether. Keep reading to learn about common causes of venous ulcers, including venous insufficiency, poor habits, and minor injuries.

Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of venous ulcers. This kind of vascular disease is to blame for more than two-thirds of all leg ulcers. Venous insufficiency is a general term for the condition in which the veins cannot adequately circulate blood out of the legs and feet and back to the heart. When the valves responsible for keeping blood flowing to the heart become damaged, blood can back up. As blood pools around the veins, it exerts pressure on the surrounding healthy tissue, which can lead to venous ulcers.

Lifestyle Habits

Venous ulcers can also be caused by poor habits and lifestyle choices. For example, there is a significant correlation between smoking tobacco products and both arterial and venous ulcers. If a patient already suffers from venous insufficiency and continues to smoke, the risk for venous ulcers increases. Individuals who do not get enough exercise are also at higher risk for developing venous ulcers. When people are sedentary, blood can quickly build up and pool in the lower extremities. Occupations that require many hours of standing can also contribute. Obesity can also contribute to the formation of venous ulcers in patients with venous insufficiency. Excess abdominal fat puts pressure on the veins in the abdomen and pelvis which then causes increased pressure in the veins in the legs.

Minor Injuries and Itching

Venous ulcers may also develop after certain minor injuries. Due to venous insufficiency and lack of adequate blood flow, the skin in the lower legs and ankles is more prone to breaking down and not healing quickly even when minor injuries occur. Venous insufficiency often causes the legs to itch, and frequent scratching can also lead to skin breakdown. When a sore develops on the skin, it can become discolored, hardened, and infected. Without proper treatment, these ulcers can take months or years to heal.