Utah Leg Ulcer Treatment
Leg Ulcer Treatment
A leg ulcer is a breakdown of the skin. In some cases, it may involve the subcutaneous tissue and even the leg muscle and bone. A leg ulcer starts as an unhealed sore or an open wound.
Causes of Venus Leg Ulcers
- Atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries)
- Venous Insufficiency (blood doesn’t flow from the heart properly, causing it to pool in the legs)
- Peripheral arterial disease (circulation problems caused by the peripheral vessels)
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Failure
- Sickle Cell Anemia
Symptoms of a Venous Leg Ulcer
- A sunken, uneven shaped wound usually found on the lower part of the leg and / or ankle
- Varicose veins in the affected leg
- The skin that is surrounding the ulcer is still intact, but red and inflamed
- The skin surrounding the ulcer may be calloused or a lighter or darker color
- Yellowish/white pus may be oozing from the affected leg
- Pain, predominantly while standing
Common Risk Factors of Venous Leg Ulcers
- Varicose veins
- Cigarette smoking
- Pressure sores / Bed sores (from bed rest)
Venous Stasis Ulcer
A venous ulcer is the most common type of leg ulcer and is accountable for 80 to 90 percent of all leg ulcers. This type of leg ulcer is located mainly on the inner part of the leg, just about the ankle. The ulcer is red in color. An infected venous stasis ulcer may produce a yellow or green discharge. The skin surrounding the ulcer will be swollen and discolored. Venous stasis leg ulcers are usually found in people who have a history of varicose veins, leg swelling, or either blood clots in the superficial or the deep veins of the leg. Roughly 80 percent of venous ulcers are caused by venous disease or condition.
Utah Leg Ulcer Treatment (Venous Stasis Ulcers)
- Clean the ulcer with the use of wet and dry dressings. Ulcers heal quicker when they are covered. Dressings should be changed once a week to avoid removing the new cells that are growing to replace the damaged ones.
- Antibiotic ointments
- Compression treatment using compression stockings or elastic bandages.
- Prescription oral antibiotics if an infection is present
- Surgery to remove the dead tissue
What to Expect When You Visit the Doctor
Your doctor will want to examine the ulcer, measure the blood flow in the leg or ankle (using a Doppler – it’s similar to a blood pressure cuff). You can also expect the doctor to compare the blood pressure in your arm to the blood pressure in your leg or ankle.
How to Prevent Future Venous Stasis Ulcers
Often times, you cannot prevent another ulcer from developing, but you can try the following things. Your options may include a healthy diet, regular exercise, quit smoking (if you’re a smoker) and treatment for varicose veins. You should avoid taking hot baths and sitting for too long. It can also help to keep the leg elevated with a few pillows so it is above the level of your heart.
Ehsan Hadjbian, MD is the president and medical director of The Vein Institute of Utah. Dr. Ehsan Hadjbian is an American Board certified specialist of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, one of only 600 in the entire United States and Canada.