Venous leg ulcers are open wounds that develop on the legs as a result of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is a condition where the veins in the legs are unable to pump blood back up to the heart effectively, causing blood to pool in the veins and putting pressure on the skin. This pressure can lead to the development of ulcers over time.
Venous leg ulcers usually occur on the lower leg, near the ankle, and can be quite painful. They can range in size from small sores to larger, more severe wounds that may take months to heal. In addition to pain, venous leg ulcers may also cause itching, burning, and swelling of the affected area.
What Causes Venous Leg Ulcers?
The most common cause of venous leg ulcers is CVI. This condition can be caused by a number of factors, including:
Age: As we get older, our veins can become weaker and less elastic, making them less able to pump blood back up to the heart.
Obesity: Carrying excess weight puts extra pressure on the veins in the legs, which can make them less effective at pumping blood.
Inactivity: Sitting or standing for long periods of time can cause blood to pool in the legs, putting pressure on the skin and leading to the development of ulcers.
Previous DVT: Having had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the past can also increase your risk of developing venous leg ulcers.
Family History: Genetics may play a role in the development of venous leg ulcers.
How are Venous Leg Ulcers Treated?
Treatment for venous leg ulcers usually involves a combination of strategies aimed at improving blood flow and promoting wound healing. These strategies may include:
Compression therapy: This involves using special bandages or stockings to apply pressure to the legs, helping to improve blood flow and prevent blood from pooling in the veins.
Wound care: Proper wound care is essential for venous leg ulcers to heal. This may involve cleaning the wound, applying dressings, and keeping the affected area elevated to reduce swelling.
Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve blood flow and strengthen the muscles in the legs, reducing the risk of developing venous leg ulcers.
Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged veins and improve blood flow.
In addition to these treatments, it’s important to address any underlying conditions that may be contributing to the development of venous leg ulcers. This may include managing diabetes, losing weight, and treating any infections.
Venous leg ulcers can be painful and frustrating to deal with, but there are effective treatments available. If you think you may have a venous leg ulcer, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. With the right care and management, most venous leg ulcers can be successfully treated and healed.
If you are concerned that you have Venous Leg Ulcer and would like to book a consultation please contact one of our members that is near you.