What are venous leg ulcers? Open cuts between the knee and ankle joint that occur when the venous disease is present are usually the cause of venous leg ulcers. Bacteria find their way into the open wound and cause an ulcer. Veins are the tiny tubes that carry blood from your foot towards your heart.
The veins in the legs have one-way valves. What that means is that the blood flows up the leg and not back down. Sometimes these valves are not as efficient in some people. In damaged valves, the blood can flow the wrong way. Instead of going up, the blood starts flowing downwards. In turn, this results in high pressure in the veins when you stand up. This extremely high pressure can damage the skin, which results in ulcers.
Symptoms of Venous Leg Ulcers
When there is venous insufficiency present in the body, your skin can become itchy and thin, which can lead to statis dermatitis. This happens when blood overfills in the veins of the lower legs and the fluid leaks out into the skin and other tissues.
- A tingling or itching sensation
- Hardened skin with a dark red or a purple hue to the skin around the affected area.
- Swelling of the legs, a feeling of heaviness and severe cramping
- Intense pain in the legs
- An infection with a foul odor to it; pus may also come out from the wound
- The skin of the affected area may become hot, shiny and tight
Treatment of Venous Leg Ulcers
There are three main methods for treating venous leg ulcers. This includes Medications, Conservative Management, and mechanical treatment. The goal, in general, is to reduce, heal, and improve the ulcer, and prevent it from occurring again.
- Medication: Oral medication can be effective, but it depends on the medication. Dosage also plays a huge part such as Aspirin 300mg per day taken at once has proven to be efficient.
- Conservative Management: 3 types of conservative management are used such as leg elevation, compression therapy, and dressings
- Mechanical Treatment: Topical negative pressure is a good treatment option. However, there has been no direct relationship between it and venous leg ulcers
Who Is At a Higher Risk
- Varicose Veins: When your valves malfunction it can cause your veins to become enlarged or swollen
- Old Surgeries: Previous surgeries of the lug like knee replacement or hip replacement can make you more susceptible
- Difficulty Walking: When there is less blood circulation in the legs because of lack of movement, it can damage weak calf muscles this affects blood circulation
- Age: Old Age can play a huge factor; an estimate shows that 1 in 50 people over the age of 80 have venous leg ulcers.
- Arthritis: If you, in particular, have arthritis it can be difficult to move around which again can cause slowed blood circulation in the legs which can, in turn, put you at a higher risk.
Always go to a professional if the above-stated symptoms start to occur. At-home treatments can be ineffective at times. Visit Dr. Norman Chideckel, M.D., for the best vascular & vein treatment in NYC.