A venous skin ulcer is a sore on your leg that’s very slow to heal, usually because of weak blood circulation in the limb.
Diagnosis Of Venous Ulcers
If you have a wound that isn’t healing or you think is infected, you should see your doctor. Usually, all it takes is a quick examination of the sore and the skin around it to figure out whether you have a venous skin ulcer. Your doctor will ask you if you have a history of ongoing (or “chronic”) conditions, such as diabetes or hardening of the arteries.
In some cases, however, your doctor might order other tests, such as an X-ray or a CT scan, to check out your veins and the area around the ulcer in more detail.
Sometimes, an ulcer can lead to other problems, including serious skin and bone infections. And in rare cases, it can give rise to skin cancer.
Treatment For Venous Ulcers
The most common treatment is a compression bandage or stocking. The pressure should improve the blood circulation in your leg, boosting your body’s ability to heal the sore.
You’ll probably be told to raise your leg for set lengths of time as well. This also helps circulation. Doctors typically recommend a half-hour at a time, 3 or 4 times a day.
Vein treatment will probably be recommended. The ulcer can not heal if the leaking vein is not fixed.
If your ulcer is infected by bacteria, you’ll probably be given antibiotics to kill the infection. You might also be given a moist dressing to put over the ulcer to help it heal more quickly.
In some cases, your doctor might recommend surgery to improve the circulation in your legs. This can help your ulcer heal and could prevent similar problems later.
Most ulcers heal after 3 or 4 months of treatment. However, some can take longer, and some may never clear up.
There are a variety of ways you can prevent venous skin ulcers through lifestyle changes, diet or medication. You might:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Control chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- Take aspirin to prevent blood clots
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet
- Exercise regularly
- Wear compression stockings
- Treat your varicose and spider veins
- Keep your legs elevated when you can
If you feel that you could have symptoms of a venous skin ulcer, don’t hesitate to contact Premier Vein Specialists for a FREE Screening!