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How To Prevent Leg Ulcers

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Prevention Of Venous Ulcers

How to Cure Venous Leg Ulcers Mark Whiteley

In these cases people who are prone to varicose veins are particularly susceptible. There are a number of preventative measures which can significantly reduce the risk of development. These include

  • Avoiding standing for excessive amounts of time or prolonged periods. Also sitting with crossed legs can restrict the blood flow, so it is best to sit with both feet on the floor or elevated with a footstool
  • Exercising- Walking is extremely beneficial to increase the blood and oxygen flow around the body but especially the legs. Trying to flex the feet and ankles when sitting also enables the calf muscles to assist the blood flow in the veins.
  • Diet and Weight- Maintaining a healthy body weight helps to relieve pressure on the veins, together with a healthy balanced diet is extremely beneficial
  • Support pantyhose- There are a variety of hose, stockings and knee length socks which are beneficial for varicose vein sufferers. They are available in unisex forms and help improve circulation by pushing the blood back towards the heart.

Pain Management For Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers are open skin sores that can affect any area of the body but most often occur on the legs. It is estimated that about 1% of Americans have venous ulcers. Theyre more common in older people, particularly women, and more likely to occur with people who have varicose veins. Other types of people who have an increased chance of getting a venous ulcer include:

  • Those who have suffered previous leg injuries.
  • Those who smoke.
  • Those who are overweight or obese.
  • Anyone with a circulation problem, such as blood clots or phlebitis .

Venous ulcers are sometimes called venous insufficiency ulcers, stasis leg ulcers, and venous leg ulcers.

In This Article:

Are Other Venous Ulcer Treatments Available

Venous ulcers that are severe or not responding to standard therapies may require additional treatments such as:

  • Growth factor therapy, injectable substances that attract healthy cells to ulcers.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment in which you sit in a special, pressurized chamber and inhale pure oxygen.
  • Lymphedema therapy, massage, skin care and bandaging techniques that clear fluid buildup.
  • Skin graft, replacing diseased skin with healthy skin from another part of your body.
  • Stem cell therapy, injections of bone marrow to generate healthy tissue.
  • Venous disease treatment to correct blood pooling problems and improve circulation.

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Symptoms Of Leg Ulcers

  • that they are commonly found on the lower leg and ankle
  • a sunken, asymmetrically shaped wound
  • the edges of the ulcer are clearly defined from the surrounding skin
  • the surrounding skin is intact, but inflamed
  • the surrounding skin may be pigmented, hardened or calloused
  • yellowish-white exudate
  • varicose veins in the leg.

Signs Of An Infection

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A venous leg ulcer can be susceptible to bacterial infection. Symptoms of an infected leg ulcer can include:

A number of factors can increase your risk of developing a venous leg ulcer, including:

  • obesity or being overweight this increases the pressure in the leg veins
  • if you have difficulty walking this can weaken the calf muscles, which can affect circulation in the leg veins
  • previous deep vein thrombosis blood clots that develop in the leg can damage valves in the veins
  • varicose veins swollen and enlarged veins caused by malfunctioning valves
  • previous injury to the leg, such as a broken or fractured bone, which may cause DVT or impair walking
  • previous surgery to the leg, such as a hip replacement or knee replacement, which can prevent you from moving about
  • increasing age people find it harder to move around as they get older, particularly if they suffer from arthritis

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How To Prevent Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous ulcers most often form around the ankles.

Venous ulcers typically occur because of damage to the valves inside the leg veins. These valves control the blood pressure inside the veins. They allow it to drop when you walk. If the blood pressure inside your leg veins doesnt fall as youre walking, the condition is called sustained venous hypertension. That increase in blood pressure causes ulcers to form on your ankles.

Venous ulcers may also be caused by other problems with your leg veins. These include:

  • Varicose veins. These are large, bulging leg veins. They occur when valves in the leg veins dont work well, allowing blood to collect in the lower leg.

  • Chronic venous insufficiency. Like varicose veins, this condition occurs when your leg veins cant pump blood back up to your heart. Blood then pools in your lower legs, causing your legs to swell. Since the blood cant flow well in your legs, the swelling may be extreme. This extreme swelling can put so much pressure on your skin that venous ulcers form.

Faq: How Do You Treat Venous Leg Ulcers

Q. 1 What are the signs of venous leg ulcers?

Ans: There are many signs of venous leg ulcers. The most common symptom is pain and soreness around a vein in the lower leg. There may also be redness or swelling of the skin where the vein is located.

Other symptoms include heaviness or tiredness of the legs, especially after sitting for long periods of time or standing on your feet for an extended period of time feeling like you need to pop your ankles and move your foot up and down and having varicose veins that are visible on your skin.

Q. 2 How is a venous leg ulcer diagnosed?

Ans: Venous leg ulcers diagnosis doctors do by the following:

  • A physical examination of the wound
  • A blood test to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood
  • An ultrasound scan to detect any abnormalities in the veins of the legs
  • A duplex ultrasound scan to detect any abnormalities in the veins of the legs and examine for deep vein thrombosis
  • Compression therapy of leg or limb, such as bandages and elastic stockings.

Q. 3 Is there a cure for venous leg ulcers?

Ans: There are many treatments for venous leg ulcers, and it is recommended to try them all before giving up. The most important thing is to keep the wound clean, dry and free from bacteria.

We should also avoid wearing any tight clothing or socks, which can put pressure on the wound and make it worse.

Q. 4 What do venous leg ulcers look like on a skin biopsy?

Q. 5 Are there any home remedies for treating venous leg ulcers?

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How Can You Prevent Venous Ulcers

Improving your circulation and reducing pressure on your legs can help prevent venous ulcers. The following steps can help you avoid them:

  • Improve your lifestyle by eating healthy foods and getting more sleep.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Manage your blood pressure through stress management and/or medication.
  • Raise your legs so that your feet are above your heart, several times a day.
  • Wear compression stockings as often as your doctor recommends.

While most venous ulcers go away with time, some can cause serious complications, like infection. As always, prevention is the best medicine.

Signs And Causes Of Venous Ulcers

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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

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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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Will I Need Any Tests

Testing lets your healthcare provider know how severe the ulcer is. You may also undergo regular testing to determine whether venous ulcer treatments are working.

Tests for venous ulcers include:

  • Ankle-brachial index, which takes blood pressure readings of your arms and legs.
  • Doppler study to listen to blood flowing through your veins.
  • Imaging studies, such as a CT scan to identify damaged or nonfunctioning valves.

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Manage Your Blood Sugar Levels

One of the most important things you can do to treat diabetic ulcers is to keep your blood sugar levels under control by monitoring them on a regular basis.

You can also help treat and prevent high blood sugar levels by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking any medication prescribed by your doctor.

Stage : Collating Summarising And Reporting The Results

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Full texts that are retained will undergo study quality assessment and critical appraisal in order to determine the applicability of findings to clinical practice. We will use the Critical Skills Appraisal Programme . Retained articles will be examined for any qualitative or quantitative descriptions. Findings will be presented in a table that outlines the study type, year the study was undertaken, sample size, study location and patient characteristics.

In order to assess the first research question, we will examine each study against two types of HL: general HL and VLU-specific HL . Findings and critical appraisal of the included articles will be provided in a summary of findings and reported in CASP evidence profile table. This table will indicate whether the paper suggested the majority of their sample lacked HL . We anticipate that there will be a highly heterogeneous definition of HL in these papers, meaning that authors will be required to use their judgements as to whether or not the paper is relevant, as a degree of simplification will be needed. All entries will be checked by two authors. The lead author will resolve disagreements independently.

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What Are Leg Ulcers

Leg ulcers are open wounds on your leg that take more than two weeks to heal despite treatment. These ulcers typically appear between the ankle and knee.

Leg ulcers often seep and can grow larger if left untreated. A sore on your leg that doesnt heal after three months of treatment is considered a chronic condition.

How To Treat And Prevent Diabetic Ulcers On The Feet And Legs

HomeDisease – How to Treat and Prevent Diabetic Ulcers on the Feet and Legs

If you have diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus, it is important to be aware of diabetic ulcers on your feet, ankles, and legs.

These sores can easily become infected if not treated properly and can eventually lead to severe infection and even limb amputation.

In this article, we will discuss what diabetic ulcers are, how to treat them, and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

We will also touch on other causes of ulcers for those who do not have diabetes in case diabetes is not the cause of your foot or leg ulcer.

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What Are The Best Ways To Prevent Diabetic Ulcers

The best way to prevent diabetic ulcers is to keep your blood sugar levels under control through prescribed medications and the lifestyle changes detailed above.

Other ways to prevent diabetic ulcers include:

  • Wearing proper footwear and avoiding going barefoot
  • Checking your feet daily for cuts, scrapes, blisters, or other issues

Although there is no foolproof method to prevent diabetic ulcers, following these tips can help reduce your risk. If you do develop diabetic ulcers, it is important to seek medical care.

After The Ulcer Has Healed

Leg ulcers – Diagnosis and treatment of leg ulcers

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 that you can manage yourself.

Various accessories are available to help you put them on and take them off.

Page last reviewed: 16 November 2022 Next review due: 16 November 2025

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Treatments For Venous Leg Ulcers

The following treatments may be used for venous leg ulcers:

Compression Bandages

The main and by far the most effective treatment for venous leg ulcers are tight compression bandages. They are wrapped around the ulcers and work by helping the static blood near the surface of the leg flow back up the legs and by preventing further pooling of blood and leakage. However, the dressing takes a long time to put on and it can sometimes be uncomfortable and awkward to wear.

Sometimes, compression bandages cannot be used in patients with poor arterial blood circulation. The arteries carry blood away from the heart to all parts of the body and, if the circulation is poor , there will be an inadequate supply of fresh blood to the leg. Arterial insufficiency ulcers can be often treated surgically by bypassing the blockage in the artery. However, venous leg ulcers in patients with arterial disease that is not suitable for such surgery are difficult to treat because compression cannot be applied.

Compression Stockings

Skin Grafting

Skin grafting is sometimes used to treat large venous ulcers that are difficult to heal. A piece of skin is taken from the thigh and applied to the area with the ulcers. Compression is needed after the surgery to prevent the ulcer from returning.

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Diabetic Nerve Pain In Ankle Feet And Legs

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that results from damage to the nerves due to high blood sugar levels and nerve damage can cause a wide range of symptoms including pain, numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and weakness. In some cases, diabetic neuropathy can lead to serious complications such as diabetic foot ulcers.

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Identifying Patients At Risk Of Ulceration

Not all people who have CVD will develop ulceration specific risk factors are associated with ulceration in this patient group.

Skin changes are the biggest predictor of lower-leg ulceration: patients with CVD who have varicose veins, lipodermato-sclerosis or venous eczema are at significantly increased risk .

Oedema is the most common cause of lower-leg oedema and present in 90% of cases . It occurs when the rate of capillary filtration exceeds lymphatic drainage because of increased capillary filtration , inadequate lymphatic flow or both . This leads to a build-up of interstitial fluid, causing the lower legs to swell. Chronic oedema is common and its prevalence rises with age from 3.93 per 1,000 in the general adult population to 28.75 per 1,000 in people aged > 85 years .

Lower-limb oedema and CVD both significantly reduce quality of life. Symptoms can include pain, heaviness in the legs, cramps and itching, as well as significant aesthetic effects . When severe, this can lead to reduced mobility, poor body image and social isolation .

Oedema and CVD also have a substantial physiological impact on the skin, causing multiple chemical inflammatory mediators to be released, resulting in the tissue becoming chronically inflamed. This can lead to haemosiderin staining , lipodermatosclerosis and, ultimately, cellular hypoxia and ulceration .

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Symptoms Of Venous Insufficiency Ulcers

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Whe a venous ulcer begins to develop, stasis dermatitis may be present causing scaling and erythema of the lower extremities. Hemosiderin staining may also occur, causing the presence of brownish or yellow patches underneath the skin. Other skin changes may include the appearance of dark red or purple as a result of blood leaching into the surrounding tissue. Venous ulcers will present with shallow but large wounds with irregular margins that typically develop on the lower leg or ankle. The base of the ulcer is typically red, can result in a significant amount of exudate depending on the level of infection, and will ooze venous blood when manipulated. Typically the wound will be relatively painless, with any pain resulting from subsequent infection or edema. Often the entire leg will become swollen, and the skin will become more firm and reddish brown in color, otherwise known as stasis dermatitis. Elevation of the limb will help to relieve discomfort and swelling.

Figure 1: Venous ulcer with obesity as cofactorFigure 2: Large superficial venous ulcer

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Infographic Excerpt: Other Home Remedies To Heal Leg Ulcers

Leg ulcers are majorly caused by injuries. While these often heal on their own, they also may warrant medical compliance and remedies to ease the discomfort.

The following infographic provides information about a few other remedies that can ease leg ulcers and promote healing. Check them out.

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Leg ulcers resemble sores that develop when bacteria enter underlying tissues through injured or broken skin. While skin injuries are the most common risk factor for leg ulcers, certain underlying medical conditions like diabetes, arterial disease, and venous disease may also lead to leg ulcers. Some common signs and symptoms that often accompany leg ulcers include irritated or flaky skin, swelling, heaviness, discoloration, and leg pain on prolonged standing. You may use natural ingredients like Gotu kola, turmeric, aloe vera, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and yarrow in home remedies to heal leg ulcers in mild to moderate cases.

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