It is estimated that roughly 1% of the US population and about 3 ½% of people at or above retirement age are affected by venous ulcers of the legs. With over 3 million American citizens suffering from often recurring venous ulcerations annually at least two million workdays are lost because of this chronic condition.
Skin ulcerations and sores are in many cases the long-term effects of untreated varicose veins. These venous ulcers are caused by pooling of blood for a significant length of time (years) as a result of weakened vein walls and valves inside the veins.
In many cases varicose veins may not cause any noticeable problems or they may only cause relatively minor aching pains and discomfort. Sometimes however, varicose veins can transpire into more serious health issues manifesting themselves as sores, skin ulcers or simply bleeding of the skin.
Sores or ulcers can develop as a result of chronic widening and malfunctioning of superficial veins and the valves inside these veins. The resulting pooling of blood and fluid in these defective veins can eventually lead to damage or destruction of surrounding tissue and skin in the form of potentially painful ulcerations that are difficult to heal.
A venous skin ulcer, in medical jargon also called a stasis leg ulcer, will often not heal unless the proper flow of blood in the affected vein is restored first.
Risk Factors for Developing Venous Ulcers
You are more likely to develop a leg ulcer if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- Swelling of the legs (edema)
- Venous insufficiency
- Presence of varicose veins
- History of thrombosis (blood clots) in the superficial veins or in the deeper veins of the legs
(Note: There are a host of additional potential causes for leg ulcers, which have been excluded here on purpose because they are not relevant to the subject area of venous ulcers)
Leg vein ulcers will develop almost exclusively in the area between the knee and ankles. The skin around the ulcer can be red, swollen, tight and shiny or even scaly in appearance. Infected ulcerations can produce significant green or yellowish discharge.
Treatment of Venous Ulcers
In most cases venous ulcers of the legs are treated with a combination of exercise, resting and compression therapy for the affected leg(s). Compression treatment may consist of wearing compression stockings or compression wrappings, which must be determined by the physician based on the characteristics of the ulcer and depending on the amount of drainage discharge from the ulcer. Compression therapy can be of significant benefit in supporting the pumping action of the calf muscles and reducing swelling of the leg from accumulation of fluid (edema).
The physician must also check if the ulcer has been caused by arterial disease rather than a venous condition. If arterial disease is found to be present, compression therapy must not be utilized as a treatment option. In addition it is also important to treat any underlying illnesses or conditions and to stop adverse habits of the patient such as smoking or over eating.
Last not Least Something on the Funny Side:
A new study mentioned in the British Medical Journal found that a good laugh is one of the best treatments for people who have severe leg ulcers because it moves the diaphragm, which helps with blood circulation and it makes people happy.
All posts on this blog are for reference only and must not be used to determine treatment for specific medical conditions. Only your healthcare provider is qualified to do that. Never ignore professional medical advice or delay in seeking it! Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider to answer any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
If you liked this post please let us know by clicking the Facebook like button or the G+1 button below. We also appreciate any comments and personal experiences you have to contribute.
Terese C. says
You have perfect articles. Bless you for sharing with us your blog site.
Quality articles or reviews are crucial to invite the viewers to visit the
site and that’s what this site is providing.
Tory N. says
I wanted to thank you for this superb site you have made here.
M. Dorsch says
Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could undeniably be one of the very best in its niche. Fantastic blog!
I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great content.
Thanks for the interesting article.
I’d like to write like this too.
I’ve learned new things via your blog site. Thanks
Blaine S. says
After researching a number of of the weblog posts in your web site I really like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it and might be checking back soon.
Nice post. I found it very informative and useful. Thanks for sharing.
This internet internet site is certainly a walk-through for all of the information you needed about this. Glimpse right here, and you will surely learn it.
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE – exactly as information should be!
Nabeel D. says
Thank you for putting your effort in making this article.
Edda R. says
I discovered your blog site on google and checked out a few of your posts. Continue to keep up the work. I just added your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you!
I just don’t understand where are you are getting all the ideas. 🙂