Identify and Treat Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous leg ulcers are the most common form of ulcers affecting the lower extremities. They represent severe venous disease and can be the end-stage of chronic venous insufficiency. Venous ulcers occur most commonly at the ankles and involve an open wound, as well.

Venous Lower Leg Ulcers

Quality of Life

Venous ulcers can have a very significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, as it may be accompanied by major disabilities and social impairment. This condition doesn’t often heal without treatment, as it tends to be chronic, frequently relapse, and cause large health care expenditures.

Identifying Factors

Venous ulcers occur within areas of dark, reddish-brown skin that are hard and feel warm to the touch. The area may be very painful and itch continuously. White scar tissue may also develop in the area.

Causes

Venous ulcers are caused most often by varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency and may occur after these conditions have persisted untreated for a while. Venous reflux (or valve failure) and other vein conditions can lead to increased blood pooling. This causes venous hypertension, meaning increased pressures in the veins of the lower leg. These venous conditions may come from varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis or DVT, or from perforator veins, which connect the aforementioned veins of the superficial and deep vein systems. When these high-pressure conditions exist, fluid may leak into the surrounding tissues, tissue inflammation occurs, and the normal transfer of nutrients and oxygen to the tissues is impaired. Over time, the diminished level of nutrients and oxygen and inflammation created causes damage to the surrounding tissues, which results in skin discoloration and tissue death.

Treatment

Diagnostic testing by a vein specialist will help to determine the particular pattern of the disease causing the problem. Treatments include wound dressing, compression stockings, endovenous laser treatment, and/or a cast-like boot.

To learn about vein treatments available, visit one of our specialists today, contact Summit Skin & Vein Care at (816) 533-4398!

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