• Venous Ulcers: What Are They?

    Posted on March 28, 2016 by in venous insufficiency

    Venous ulcersVenous ulcers are chronic sores that appear on the lower leg, just above the ankle. These sores can be caused by venous insufficiency. Since the valve in the vein doesn’t close properly, blood can pool under the skin. The blood from leaking veins harden under the skin and an ulcer is the result. Other causes of these leg wounds are obesity, injury, poor circulation, diabetes, hypertension, history of smoking, hereditary ulcers, and age. Individuals over the age of 60 account for the majority of people who have venous ulcers.

    Symptoms of a leg ulcer include swelling, achy legs that have an area with irritated skin. This patch of skin eventually turns into an ulcer.

    There are some ways that you can prevent venous leg ulcers.

    • Wear compression stockings to support your veins. The graduated squeezing, or compression, of the stocking helps the veins to pump blood back to the heart.
    • Reduce your weight if you are overweight. Obese individuals are more prone to venous ulcers since the additional weight leads to higher pressure within the veins. Regular exercise and dietary modifications can help in reducing your weight.
    • Elevate legs when possible. Perform yoga poses to raise the legs into positions above the heart.
    • Avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting
    • Treat varicose veins in the affected area through surgical means

    Venous ulcers can be treated with antibiotics if they become infected. There isn’t, however, a treatment to rid your leg of the ulcer. Keeping the wound clean and dressed to avoid harmful bacteria is essential. It will heal on its own which can take several months. Once you have had an ulcer, it is likely to reoccur without proper care of the vein. This may happen months or even years after the initial wound heals.

    If you would like a vein evaluation, contact Dr. Joseph Magnant, M.D. in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs Vein Specialist. With offices at two convenient locations – 1510 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Suite 101 Fort Myers, Florida 33919 or 3359 Woods Edge Circle Suite 102 Bonita Springs, Florida 34134.

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