Venous ulcers are the most common type of leg ulcers in The Villages, Florida. Venous ulcers occur in the medial side of the lower leg just above the ankle. These ulcers occur when you get trauma to the leg which puts a lot of pressure in the leg veins. The pressure inside the veins causes a stasis of blood in the legs, weakening the overlying skin which has an injury. Over time the vein erodes and develops into an ulcer that may take a long time to heal.
If you have an ulcer that resembles a venous ulcer, the doctor will take your medical history to find out whether you have medical conditions that might be causing the ulcers. The doctor will then examine the ulcer, checking its appearance and for any signs of infection. In The Villages, venous ulcers have various methods of treatment which include medications, lifestyle modification, and surgery. Sometimes these methods may be combined for good results.
- What are the Symptoms of Venous Ulcers?
Venous ulcers present as open wounds on the inner side of the leg just above the ankle. These wounds tend to heal slowly and cause brown discoloration and rash formation on the surrounding skin. The area that is affected by the ulcer may also become hard. Venous ulcers cause pain in the affected leg and sometimes this leg may swell.
Some people who have venous ulcers experience itchiness around the wound. Sometimes a venous ulcer may become infected by microorganisms. When that happens, the ulcer will start forming pus and it becomes red. Other symptoms of an infected venous ulcer include fever and pain that worsens over time. These ulcers may also produce a foul-smelling discharge when they are infected.
- What Causes Venous Ulcers?
Venous ulcers develop in people with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) because the blood clots in this condition cause damage to the veins and valves. Poor circulation that occurs in persons who are physically inactive, like bedridden patients and those with paralysis, can cause venous ulcers to form. Varicose veins that are caused by faulty valves inside the veins can also cause DVT.
Obesity and being overweight can also cause venous ulcers because the excess weight puts pressure in the leg veins; this can cause the walls of the veins to weaken and finally form ulcers. Other factors that can cause venous ulcers include diabetes, bone fractures, surgery of the lower limb, old age, smoking, and having another venous insufficiency.
- How Can You Prevent Venous Ulcers?
You can prevent the formation of venous ulcers by being physically active. Physical activity promotes blood circulation as the muscles in the legs contract. Wearing compression socks promotes venous return, which in turn prevents the formation of ulcers. You can also prevent venous ulcers by managing your weight. If you are overweight or inactive, elevating your legs is helpful. It is also extremely important to quit smoking. Be sure to get treatment for underlying medical conditions, like diabetes, that cause ulcers.
In conclusion, venous ulcers are slow-healing wounds that commonly affect the inner side of the leg just above the ankle. These ulcers present with itchiness, rash, skin discoloration and hardening, and soreness. Sometimes these ulcers can get an infection, causing pus formation and foul-smelling discharge. You can prevent these ulcers through physical exercise, wearing compression socks, weight management, and getting treatment for underlying medical conditions like diabetes.