What Is The Treatment For A Venous Leg Ulcer
A venous leg ulcer usually wont get better without treatment from a healthcare professional. The aim of treatment is to make sure the wound heals while providing relief from symptoms such as pain in and swelling of your affected leg.
Your GP may recommend specialist wound care and compression therapy to help with healing. Treatment will usually be done by a district nurse who is specifically trained to manage leg ulcers.
Compression therapy applies pressure to your affected leg, which reduces the amount of blood pooling in the veins and helps to redirect the blood flow to your heart. It can help to reduce swelling and encourages delivery of oxygen and nutrients, critical for healing, to the wound.
Your GP may consider referral to a vascular surgeon to discuss a minimally invasive procedure for varicose veins. This will reduce the risk of recurrent ulcers.
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Swelling In The Legs And Ankles
Venous leg ulcers are often accompanied by swelling of your feet and ankles , which is caused by fluid. This can be controlled by compression bandages.
Keeping your leg elevated whenever possible, ideally with your toes above your hips, will also help ease swelling.
You should put a suitcase, sofa cushion or foam wedge under the bottom of your mattress to help keep your legs raised while you sleep.
You should also keep as active as possible and aim to continue with your normal activities.
Regular exercise, such as a daily walk, will help reduce leg swelling.
But you should avoid sitting or standing still with your feet down. You should elevate your feet at least every hour.
Healthcare Advice For Leg Ulcers
There are some lifestyle changes you can make that will help boost healing:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a well-balanced diet that includes 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and protein rich foods such as eggs, fish, chicken or pulses
- Take light to moderate exercise such as cycling or walking for about thirty minutes at least three times a week
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Put your feet up elevate your legs above your heart.
- Every so often, move your feet around in circles, then up and down. This helps blood circulate and get back to your heart
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Natural Treatment For Diabetic Leg Ulcers
Of course, a proper diabetes diet and blood sugar control are essential to preventing leg ulcers. For any existing, open ulcers, cleaning and dressing the wound is essential. You may want to consider coating the wound with honey as a natural antibiotic to supplement your immune system’s own efforts to prevent infection. Supplemental zinc and vitamin C will speed up the healing process. As one more option, phototherapy offers a promising alternative medicine treatment for diabetic leg ulcers.
I have this Ulcer on my right leg., . Being a tropical ulcer, it weeps and defuses bad odor where ever I went., Thus making it harder for me to travel in public vehicles.., it’s also very painful and caused inflammation to my right leg, that walking short distance is avoided.., into the third week of this misery a good friend of mine came for a visit and saw me in this misery., that friend suggested using Coconut Activated Charcoal therapy., and he advised me how to build a simple Charcoal Kiln and process the Activated Charcoal,, now I’m on this therapy and I’m satisfied with the results.., the oozing had stop and almost 95% of the odour is gone,, currently I’m on the mend, after 3 days of consumption and sprinkling the the charcoal onto the ulcer.
Baby Aspirin for Diabetic Leg Ulcers
Within days, the ulcers started healing, and now a month later, they’re completely gone, no trace!
How To Use Honey For Leg Ulcers
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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Venous Ulcers
LAUREN COLLINS, MD, and SAMINA SERAJ, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania
Am Fam Physician. 2010 Apr 15 81:989-996.
Patient information: See related handout on venous ulcers, written by the authors of this article.
Venous ulcers, or stasis ulcers, account for 80 percent of lower extremity ulcerations.1 Less common etiologies for lower extremity ulcerations include arterial insufficiency prolonged pressure diabetic neuropathy and systemic illness such as rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, osteomyelitis, and skin malignancy.2 The overall prevalence of venous ulcers in the United States is approximately 1 percent.1 Venous ulcers are more common in women and older persons.36 The primary risk factors are older age, obesity, previous leg injuries, deep venous thrombosis, and phlebitis.7
Venous ulcers are often recurrent, and open ulcers can persist from weeks to many years.810 Severe complications include cellulitis, osteomyelitis, and malignant change.3 Although the overall prevalence is relatively low, the refractory nature of these ulcers increase the risk of morbidity and mortality, and have a significant impact on patient quality of life.11,12 The financial burden of venous ulcers is estimated to be $2 billion per year in the United States.13,14
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How To Heal Venous Leg Ulcers
This article was co-authored by . Marsha Durkin is a Registered Nurse and Laboratory Information Specialist for Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Illinois. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Olney Central College in 1987.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 90% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 23,737 times.
A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when veins dont return the blood back to the heart the way theyre supposed to. These ulcers usually form on the sides of the lower leg, above the ankle, and below the calf. They can heal over time with proper care, but without it, they can return and/or cause serious complications.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source It’s very important to see a doctor or wound care nurse when you have an ulcer, then to keep them dressed and bandaged, take the right medications, and alter some of your habits at home.
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After The Ulcer Has Healed
Once you have had a venous leg ulcer, another ulcer could develop within months or years.
The most effective method of preventing this is to wear compression stockings at all times when you’re out of bed.
Your nurse will help you find a stocking that fits correctly and you can manage yourself.
Various accessories are available to help you put them on and take them off.
Page last reviewed: 11 January 2019 Next review due: 11 January 2022
How Are Foot And Toe Ulcers Treated
The goal of treating a foot or toe ulcer is to relieve pain and heal your wound. Your treatment plan will be individualized based on what medical condition is causing your ulcers. If you cant correct the cause of your ulcer, its likely to come back after treatment.
There are both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for foot and toe ulcers. For simple, early stage foot and toe ulcers, nonsurgical treatments may work. Ulcers that are more advanced, especially ones that are infected, may require surgery.
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How Can Ulcers Be Prevented
Controlling risk factors can help you prevent ulcers from developing or getting worse. Here are some ways to reduce your risk factors:
- Quit smoking
- Manage your blood pressure
- Control your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by making dietary changes and taking medications as prescribed
- Limit your intake of sodium
- Manage your diabetes and other health conditions, if applicable
- Exercise Ã¢ start a walking program after speaking with your doctor
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Ask your doctor about aspirin therapy to prevent blood clots
What Should I Do At My Appointment
Remember to remove any nail polish from your toenails before your appointment.
When you see the nurse or doctor, they should:
- Ask about your symptoms and how long you have had problems
- Examine your lower legs
- Do a simple test called a Doppler Ultrasound. This test compares blood flow in your ankle with that in your arm to find out if there are arterial blood flow problems in your lower leg. You may have to come back to have your Doppler test on another day or at another clinic.
- You may also be offered some other tests to check for other health problems that can affect your legs such as diabetes and anaemia.
You may hear different words to describe your wound such as ulcer, leg ulcer, sore, laceration, chronic wound and maybe others. Ask your nurse to explain their choice of word and what this may mean for you.
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Diabetic Leg Ulcers: Home Remedies To Heal Leg Sores
Among the more significant side effects of diabetes are diabetic leg ulcers, open leg sores that may afflict the feet or legs, once or recurrently, and break down the skin’s protective barrier so that infection may more easily enter the body to cause disease and further tissue damage at the site of the ulcer. These ulcers often occur with advanced diabetes because the diabetic patient does not feel the damage occurring to the skin, where neuropathy has affected pain receptors in the legs and feet.
There are other health concerns that can cause leg ulcers including trauma, impetigo, tuberculosis, and cellulitis. However, diabetic leg ulcers are the most common. These result from blocked arteries and as a secondary effect of the neuropathy that often comes with an uncontrolled diabetic condition. The atherosclerosis that blocks leg arteries causes arterial insufficiency, a lack of circulation to the area where ulcers subsequently occur.
How Do I Take Care Of My Ulcers
Your healthcare provider may teach you how to care for your ulcers at home. Some instructions may include:
- Wash the affected area with mild soap.
- Keep the wound clean and dry.
- Change the bandages as directed.
- Take prescribed medications as directed.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Ask your healthcare provider how much water you should drink every day.
- Follow a healthy diet, as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Exercise regularly, under your healthcare providers care.
- Wear appropriate shoes.
- Wear compression wraps as directed.
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What Are Leg Ulcers
Leg ulcers are sores that develop on broken or injured skin. Usually, they are more prominent right above the ankles, on the inner side of your legs.
Other than skin injuries, leg ulcers may also develop as a result of an underlying medical condition. The diseases which may lead to the development of leg ulcers are discussed briefly below.
Following Instructions Is Important To Helping Your Leg Ulcer Heal
Failing to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider can prevent your leg ulcer from healing. Most of the instructions you will be given are designed to help keep the wound clean, keep any debris from getting into the wound, and prevent infections.
Instructions on how to care for your leg ulcer will vary depending upon your situation, but the following is a look at some of the instructions you will be given:
- Keep the wound covered with a clean, non-sticky dressing at all times
- Change the dressing that covers the wound at least once a week
- Change the dressing if it becomes stained or soiled
- Wash your hands before applying the dressing to the wound
- Learn how to properly clean the wound on your own or follow up with a nurse for regularly scheduled wound cleanings
Following these instructions will help you create the best conditions that will allow your wound to heal as fast as possible.
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When To Seek Medical Care
What Are Venous Ulcers
A venous skin ulcer is a sore on the leg that heals slowly, usually because of blood flow problems in the leg veins. When leg veins do not push blood back up to the heart as they should, the blood backs up , creating extra pressure in the veins. If the condition is not treated, the increased pressure and excess fluid in the affected area can cause an open sore to form.
Because of the continuous pressure, venous ulcers can linger anywhere from a few weeks to years and lead to more serious problems if untreated. Most venous ulcers occur on the lower leg, above the ankle.
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Elevation Of The Legs
The legs should be placed in an elevated position, ideally at 30 degrees to the heart, while lying down. This, again, helps in the movement of venous blood to the heart.This also prevents the build-up of liquid in the legs that leads to swelling. A cushion or any other object of comfort can be used to keep the toes above the level of the hip while sleeping.
Other Tips For Helping Leg Ulcers Heal Faster
In addition to always following the instructions provided for how to dress the wound and how to wear your compression bandage, there are other things you can do to help speed up the healing of your leg ulcer. Other things you can do include:
- Take any and all medication as prescribed for your leg ulcer
- Keep your leg elevated as much as possible. The leg should be elevated at a height that is level with your eyes.
- Stay active. Simply walking each day can help prevent the leg ulcer from getting worse and reduce the amount of swelling you experience in your legs.
- Learn stationary leg exercises that you can do throughout the day. Some examples of stationary leg exercises include rotating your ankles, moving your feet up and down, or wiggling your leg. These exercises will help to improve blood flow to your legs.
- Try to lose weight
- Seek treatment for any other health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease
- Make improvements to your diet
- Work to make lifestyle changes, such as not drinking too much alcohol and not smoking
- Avoid bumping or touching the wound as it could reinjure the area and slow down the healing process
- Follow through with all regularly scheduled appointments with your doctor and healthcare team
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Signs And Causes Of Venous Ulcers
Venous ulcers are non-healing or slow-healing wounds that form as a result of blood pooling in the legs and feet. This happens when the walls or valves in the veins of the lower extremities dont work effectively. This is called venous insufficiency.
Venous ulcers are more common in women and older people. Several factors increase your risk of developing venous ulcers, including:
- Long periods of immobility, such as bed rest
- Older age
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Wound Dressing And Care
A venous leg ulcer is an open sore that can catch an infection from microbes very quickly. It is important to keep it clean at all times. Advanced Wound Care Dressings can help keep them free from infection as well as aid in faster wound healing. After dead tissue is removed and the wound is cleaned, it should be covered with a light, wound healing dressing. This can be easily done at home by following the instructions of a wound specialist regarding the method of cleaning and the number of dressings required.
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How Are Venous Ulcers Treated
Venous ulcers need proper care and treatment to prevent infection and to heal. The Lakeland pain management doctors at the Vein Clinic work with each patient to determine the cause of the ulcer and develop an individualized treatment plan. The treatment goals are to relieve pain, speed recovery, and heal the wound. Treatment may include focusing on the circulatory or vein problems causing the ulcers.
The most common treatment to reduce the swelling is a compression bandage or stocking, which can help improve blood circulation in the legs, boosting the bodys ability to heal the sore. Some compression bandages may require the patient to wear them continuously, with a doctor replacing them every few days. Others are worn only during the day, with the patient putting them on and removing them.
In treating venous ulcers, it is essential to keep the site infection-free. Special medication may be applied under the bandages or stockings to help during the healing process.
If a venous ulcer becomes infected by bacteria, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill the infection. A moist dressing may be used to help the ulcer heal more quickly.
Other treatment options for home care include:
Most venous ulcers heal after 3 or 4 months of treatment. However, some can take longer or require a skin graft to close up the opening in the skin. Some may never clear up completely.