A venous skin ulcer is a condition in your legs that causes pain and soreness. This condition is slow to heal because of weak blood flow in the legs. The condition can last from weeks to years. Thus, you need to consult professional vein specialists. Doctors refer to this condition as venous leg ulcers because it is common in the legs. Venous skin ulcers may lead to severe conditions. Therefore, early diagnosis is highly recommended. Also, you can take some measures to prevent this condition from growing.
Causes of Venous Ulcers
Venous ulcers are common around ankles. Venous ulcers occur because of damaged valves n the legs. The valves manage the blood pressure in the legs. Furthermore, they prevent blood from flowing backward. When you walk the valve opens and closes exerting pressure and moving the blood forward. Otherwise, gravity forces the blood in the wrong direction. However, when the blood pressure inside the veins increases, it develops ulcers in the ankles. This condition is called venous hypertension.
You might develop venous ulcers for other problems as well. These include:
· Varicose Veins
These are large and bulgy veins popping from the leg skin. When the valve inside the valve fails to properly function, it causes a blood pool. As a result, the blood fills in the lower leg.
· Chronic Venous Insufficiency
This condition has a similar cause as varicose veins. You may develop this condition when the veins fail to pump the blood back to the heart. As a result, blood pools in the legs. The swelling can get severe because of disrupted blood flow. Chronic venous insufficiency can cause extreme pressure on your skin and develop venous ulcers.
Types of Venous Skin Ulcers
Here are some common types of venous skin ulcers:
- Neurotrophic or diabetic ulcer
- Venous stasis ulcers
- Arterial or Ischemic Ulcers
The doctor identifies the type of ulcers through appearance, surrounding skin, and location.
What are the Symptoms of Venous Skin Ulcers
The first sign of venous ulcer is dark skin. The area where the ulcer develops turns dark purple or red, especially when the blood leaks from the vein. The skin may also turn dry, itchy, and thick. The ulcer might result in severe pain. Furthermore, you may experience achy or swollen legs. The infection on the wound develops pus and odor. Also, the area around the wound will turn red and tender.
Venous skin ulcers are a condition that requires immediate action. Otherwise, the condition can get worse. If you notice an ulcer in your leg, you need treatment right away. When your ulcers are small and new, the doctors can quickly treat the condition.
Diagnosis of Venous Skin Ulcers
If your wound is not healing or it looks like an infection, you should consult a vein specialist. A vein specialist will diagnose your skin around the wound and identify whether you developed a venous skin ulcer. The doctor will also check your medical history for other related conditions such as hardening of arteries or diabetes. The doctor may recommend other tests such as a CT scan or X-ray, depending on the condition. An ulcer leads to other medical conditions such as skin and bone infections. And in rare cases, you might also develop skin cancer.
Treatment of Venous Skin Ulcers
The vein specialist recommends compression stocking or bandage to exert pressure on the ulcers. The pressure improves the blood flow and heals the sore. Here are some common treatments of venous skin ulcers:
- The doctor may ask you to raise your legs multiple times to improve blood circulation. The doctor might recommend you to raise your leg three to four times a day or after every half hour.
- If your ulcer develops bacteria, they will give antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Also, they may recommend moist dressing to fasten the healing process.
- The doctor might also recommend surgery if none of the above procedures works. During the surgery, the vein specialist removes the ulcer from the vein. This improves blood circulation. Moreover, it prevents similar problems from developing in the future.
Usually, the ulcers heal within three to four months. However, severe ulcers might require more time to recover. Also, some ulcers remain forever. Thus, it is necessary to visit a vein specialist when the ulcer is small.
Venous Skin Ulcers& Treatment: Conclusion
A venous skin ulcer is common around the legs and requires immediate attention. The condition can lead to other severe conditions such as skin cancer and excessive bleeding. Furthermore, you might develop severe abdominal pain as well. Therefore, you should immediately consult a doctor.
If you are looking for an experienced vein specialist in New York, you can contact the Vascular Surgery and Vein Center. There, our professional surgeons will diagnose your condition and suggest an effective treatment procedure for quick recovery. Call 212-993-6133 now and speak with Dr. Norman Chideckel.
Vascular Surgery & Vein Center
108 East 96th Street
New York, NY 10128