Venous Ulcers: What Are They and Can They be Prevented?

Womans leg after varicose vein surgery, with visible surgical sutures (stitches) and wounds on her leg. Curative treatment, aesthetic procedures, thrombosis prevention and senior health care concept.An ulcer is an open sore on the skin. A venous ulcer is an open sore that is related to chronic venous insufficiency, with or without varicose veins. This type of wound usually occurs on the leg, often near the ankle. Normally, when the skin gets a scrape or cut, the body begins a healing process right away. This process involves healthy circulation of nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood to the area. Without that, the sore may not heal for many weeks or months. To prevent more serious problems, medical care may be needed.

Causes of Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers can develop when the valves inside of leg veins are not properly functional. The valves in the legs are responsible for moving blood forward, upward toward the heart. After blood flows through a section of the vein, the valve closes and prevents blood from moving backward, down toward the foot. When blood moves backward, a condition called venous reflux, pressure in the vein builds. This venous hypertension has been identified as a factor in the development of venous ulcers. We often see this condition alongside other varicose veins, which have become swollen and painful. 

Caring for Venous Ulcers

It is imperative that venous ulcers receive proper care to prevent infection. Any adult who develops an open sore on the leg that does not heal within a few days should see their doctor. The primary care physician may refer the patient to a vein specialist. Here at LA Vein Center, Dr. Lee provides comprehensive care for venous ulcers that involves treating the varicose vein or veins that may be reducing proper circulation to the affected area. 

People with venous ulcers may also need to do one or more of the following:

  • Clean the skin and wound regularly.
  • Apply a dressing, with or without recommended medication. 
  • Wear compression stockings to support adequate circulation through the legs.
  • Take oral medication to prevent or treat infection. 

Venous ulcers can pose serious concerns for health and wellness, but these wounds may be treated successfully by an experienced vein specialist. We are proud to serve patients from all over the Los Angeles area. To schedule a visit with Dr. Lee to examine a leg sore that will not heal, contact us at (818) 325-0400.

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