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What Are Leg Ulcers?

A leg ulcer is anytime a wound doesn’t heal on the legs. It happens when not enough nutrients and oxygen get to the wound, causing the tissue cells to die and form the ulcer. An ulcer is when a condition lasts significantly longer than a normal wound that the skin should have healed. They can be caused by many different symptoms, usually by a varicose vein becoming weak and causing additional issues. A buildup of fluid prevents your tissues from getting the nutrients they need to heal properly. Contact Premier Vein and Vascular Center today for treatment options.

Leg Ulcer Symptoms

Leg ulcers have different symptoms depending on the severity or location. They include:

  • Rash
  • Dry skin
  • Brownish discoloration
  • Foul-smelling fluid oozing from the area
  • Surrounding skin around the wound may be tight, hot, shiny, or discolored

Additionally, if a leg ulcer is not treated and becomes infected, it may show additional, worse symptoms. These include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Pus oozing from the wound
  • Worsening pain and discomfort

What Causes Leg Ulcers?

There are many risk factors for developing leg ulcers. Some are treatable and preventable, while others are hereditary. Everyone is different. We’ll discuss your options and treatment plan during your initial consultation. The risk factors that build to develop leg ulcers include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Age
  • History of vein thrombosis
  • Blockage of lymph vessels
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Long periods of time sitting or standing
  • Burns
  • Fractured limbs
  • Gender
  • Family history
  • Height

When Should I Schedule an Appointment?

Anytime a wound isn’t healing, it’s cause for concern. If you notice your leg wound has difficulty healing naturally, you may have developed a leg ulcer. If your wound doesn’t heal, it runs the risk of becoming infected. Infections can cause your whole body to get sick with worse symptoms.

How Do You Treat Leg Ulcers?

The main point of treating leg ulcers is lowering the high pressure in the lower legs. At home, you can wear compression bandages and socks to improve blood circulation by applying direct, constant pressure to the weak vein. This stops the blood from pooling in that area. This area then can return to normal, receiving the nutrients it needs to naturally heal. There are other treatments that are more in-depth. These include:

Elevating Your Leg

Another simple way to lower the pressure in the leg veins is by elevating your leg. The higher the leg, the lower the pressure, due to gravity and your heart working to pump blood to it. Make sure the foot is elevated above your heart. We recommend raising your leg above your heart for about a half-hour at a time. You should do this three to four times a day.

Properly Bandaging the Wound

Many people may not know the best methods of bandaging and wrapping a wound. We can help teach you to properly bandage and care for your wound to avoid future infections. We may also prescribe antibiotics to deal with existing infections

Surgery

In some severe instances, we may need to conduct surgery on your leg ulcer due to varicose veins. We have many different options for surgery, depending on your situation. They include:

Sclerotherapy

Laser Ablation

Ambulatory Phlebectomy