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Venous Leg Ulcers

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Venous leg ulcers

Chronic venous diseases are very common.  If the disease progresses, varicose veins and symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency occur which already associated with considerable impairment in quality of life.  However, chronic venous leg ulcer, an open wound on the leg, is the most severe manifestation of this disorder.

With impaired blood transport in the leg, blood is not transported back to the heart quickly enough.  It accumulates in the veins of the lower leg and exerts pressure on the venous walls.  Fluid collects in the surrounding tissue, which makes the legs swell.  This also compromises the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin and underlying tissue.  This deficiency can lead to poorly healing wounds in the long run, which are known by a number of names, such as leg ulcer, venous leg ulcer, or open leg (ulcus cruris).  

 

Venous leg ulcer symptoms: what to look out for

Venous insufficiency is the most significant cause of leg ulcers.  In addition, deep vein thrombosis, arterial insufficiency, diabetes mellitus, infections, and other less frequent causes are involved in the development of venous leg ulcers.  You should consult your doctor and seek treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of the following leg ulcer symptoms:

  • An open wound
  • Swelling, cramping, heaviness and general discomfort in the legs or ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Reddish, dry and itchy skin
  • Discolored skin (red, purple, brown) that may feel slightly hard around the ulcer
  • In the event of infection: increased pain, unpleasant odor, discharge emitting from the ulcer, redness and swelling in the affected area

 

Venous ulcer causes and risk factors

The following factors contribute to a higher risk of developing a venous ulcer:

Leg ulcer treatment options

Compression therapy is an important part of treatment for venous leg ulcers, alongside the latest wound care options such as the Cutimed product range. Wearing compression bandages or compression stockings improves the ability of the blood to flow towards the heart and significantly increases the chances of healing. For example, JOBST UlcerCare is specially designed in a 2-in-1 compression system to provide this therapeutic benefit. It comprises a liner to hold the wound dressing in place and an outer stocking to provide the medically necessary level of compression.

If you suffer from venous leg ulcers, you should also do plenty of exercise to stimulate blood circulation by activating the calf muscle pump. If you are overweight, reducing your body weight is also advisable to aid the healing process.

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