A venous skin ulcer is a small wound that appears on the skin when the leg veins do not carry blood back to the heart, a condition known as venous insufficiency. Venous skin ulcers develop on the lower leg as a complication of long-term untreated venous insufficiency, and can cause pain, odor, pus, tenderness and redness.
Causes of Leg Ulcers
Venous skin ulcers develop on the skin after the blood vessels in the leg and the surrounding tissue break down, leaving a visible ulcer on the skin. These ulcers are often found above the ankle and below the calf. The skin in the affected area may appear dark red or purple and may feel thickened, dry and itchy. Ulcers can also cause pain, swelling and aching.
Treatment of Leg Ulcers
It is important to treat venous skin ulcers as soon as they appear to help facilitate the healing process and prevent infection. Most venous skin ulcers can be treated by improving circulation in the affected area. This can be done by elevating your legs above the level of your heart and by wearing compression stockings to prevent blood from building up in the legs. Skin grafting or vein surgery may be needed to treat ulcers that do not heal within six months or that become infected. Our doctors will decide which treatment option is best for you.