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
Can You Prevent Venous Insufficiency
If you have a family history of venous insufficiency, there are steps you can take to lessen your chances of developing the condition:
- Dont sit or stand in one position for long stretches of time get up and move around frequently.
- Dont smoke and if you do smoke, do everything you can to quit.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
Take these steps to prevent the development of venous leg ulcers, especially if you are at a higher risk. Also, if an ulcer does develop, talk to your doctor right away.
Is It Possible To Prevent Venous Ulcers
The first step in preventing venous ulcers is preventing vein problems. Healthy habits are essential to help maintain proper blood flow in the legs. There are various ways to help prevent venous ulcers through lifestyle changes, diet, and medication. The Lakeland vein clinic pain management doctors recommend:
- Quit smoking. Smoking is bad for blood vessels and contributes to blood clotting in the veins.
- Lose weight if youre overweight or obese.
- Maintain an ideal weight.
- Exercise as much as possible. Moving and staying active helps with blood flow. Check with your doctor about starting a walking program.
- Eat healthy foods and get plenty of sleep at night.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet.
- Control your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels by making dietary changes and taking the medications your doctor prescribes.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar level under control to help you heal faster.
- Manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin to prevent blood clots.
- Avoid crossing legs while sitting.
- Avoid extreme temperatures.
- Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods of time.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing and ensure that footwear is fitted correctly to avoid points of rubbing or pressure.
- Examine feet and legs daily for any unusual changes in color or the development of sores.
- Protect legs and feet from injury and infection.
- Raise your legs for a short time, especially if you stand for extended periods.
Read Also: Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment Guidelines
Home Remedies For Ulcer Pain
Treating Venous Leg Ulcers
With treatment, 70% of small ulcers will heal within 12 weeks. Larger ulcers may take longer to heal. Treatment usually involves cleaning and dressing the wound and using compression bandages to control blood pressure inside the legs.
However, unless underlying risk factors such as immobility, obesity and varicose veins are addressed, there is a high risk of a venous leg ulcer reoccurring.
Leg ulcers are commonly colonised by many types of bacteria. However, bacteria are not the cause of the ulcer and do not need to be treated unless there is an obvious infection. Antibiotics have no effect on healing the ulcer, so are not part of routine treatment.
Read more information about treating venous leg ulcers.
A venous leg ulcer can also lead to several complications, including a loss of mobility and the risk of infection. In rare cases, infection could lead to more serious conditions such as osteomyelitis or blood poisoning .
Read more information about complications of venous leg ulcers.
Recommended Reading: Aloe Juice For Ulcerative Colitis
Medical History And Examination
Your GP or practice nurse will ask whether you have any other symptoms associated with venous leg ulcers, such as:
- swelling in your ankles
- discoloured or hard skin
They’ll try to determine the cause of the ulcer by asking about underlying conditions or previous injuries, such as:
Read more about how venous leg ulcers are treated.
Pad Foot Ulcers: How To Treat And Prevent Them
Foot ulcers, wounds, or open sores that do not heal are one of the most severe signs of advanced peripheral artery disease. PAD causes poor circulation, which can lead to foot ulcers, among other health issues. It is essential to treat and take measures to prevent foot ulcers as soon as possible. Otherwise, if left untreated, you risk infection and the potential need for amputation. Letâs discuss the types of foot ulcer treatment and prevention to avoid severe damage to your feet.
There are many options available for foot ulcer treatment, which will promote healthy healing.
Topical Wound Care
Your doctor will need to clean and disinfect the ulcer, removing dead tissue surrounding it. Then a bandage is applied to keep the area protected while it heals. Then your doctor will show you how to take care of your ulcer at home by keeping it clean and covered. They may suggest a topical antibacterial ointment to prevent further infection. Daily wound care is essential to the healing process of foot ulcers.
Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria if the ulcer is infected. Infections can be hazardous if left untreated. Your doctor may also recommend antiplatelet medication, which prevents blood clots from forming. Another blood clot prevention medicine they might suggest is a hemorheological agent, which promotes blood flow. Preventing blood clots is vital because blood clots can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Read Also: Home Remedies For Intestinal Ulcers
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.
You May Like: Antibiotics And Antiseptics For Venous Leg Ulcers
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
Recommended Reading: Is Ulcerative Colitis Considered An Autoimmune Disease
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
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.
Don’t Miss: What Makes Stomach Ulcers Feel Better
Lymphedema Clinic As Needed
Depending on the severity of the patients condition, they may need to visit a lymphedema clinic for treatment. At a lymphedema clinic, the patient will be educated about the options they have for improving their condition such as exercise, elevation, compression wraps, and deep massage therapy.
With peripheral arterial disease, venous insufficiency, ulcer formation, edema, and lymphedema, the key is to educate the patient about the details of their condition and explain the recommended treatment regimen.
In some cases, they may have been delaying treatment due to fear of seeing a doctor, lack of insurance, or due to a lack of awareness about the severity of their condition.
Both the patient and the wound care expert must work together to facilitate wound healing. An assessment of the wound as well as their overall medical condition, which may include wound cultures, blood work, radiology, and vascular testing, needs to be performed in order to determine the etiology of the wound.
The cause of the wound must be treated or eliminated in order to expedite the healing process. A comprehensive treatment plan will be formulated by the wound care expert and you.
This is why patient education is absolutely critical. My mission is to get these patients back to living by giving them the knowledge they need in order to give them autonomy over their bodies and outcomes.
About the Author
About this Series
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.
Also Check: Vegetarian Diet For Ulcerative Colitis
Appendix 3 Ovid Embase Search Strategy
1 exp ANALGESIA/ 7 exp Nonsteroid Antiinflammatory Agent/ 8 .ti,ab. 9 or/18 10 exp Topical Drug Administration/ 11 .ti,ab. 14 exp Local Anesthetic Agent/ 15 adj3 ).ti,ab. 16 adj3 analges$).ti,ab. 17 or/1316 20 exp Hydrogel/ 21 exp Alginic Acid/ 22 .ti,ab. 23 exp Ointment/ 24 .ti,ab. 25 or/1824 30 17 or 29 31 exp Leg Ulcer/ 32 or stasis ulcer$).ti,ab. 33 or/3132
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.
Read Also: Can Ulcerative Proctitis Be Cured
You May Like: Is Smoking Good For Ulcerative Colitis
What Causes A Venous Leg Ulcer
A venous leg ulcer is the most common type of leg ulcer, accounting for 80-85% of all cases. Venous leg ulcers develop when persistently high blood pressure in the veins of the legs causes damage to the skin, which eventually breaks down and forms an ulcer
Read more information about the causes of a venous leg ulcer.
Treating Leg Ulcers At Home
Ulcers on the leg can be very painful. Treating them at home can help reduce healing time and discomfort. Itâs very important to keep the wound clean, bandaged, and dry. This helps to curb the risk of infection given the extended healing time. Following your physicianâs directives for changing the bandages can help aid in healing.
Patients should be careful to properly maintain bandaged leg ulcers. If the skin around the wound gets too wet, this can cause the ulcer to expand into these healthy tissues. Expansion of these painful wounds may require more involved treatment protocols.
Wearing compression socks daily can help support lower extremity blood circulation, speeding up the healing process. The compression can also help reduce pain and swelling. Keeping active and elevating the ulcer above the heart can also aid in healing because it promotes good circulation.
One out of twenty diabetes patients experience neuropathic ulcers each year. Neuropathic ulcers call for even more treatment interventions to encourage healing. Since they are most often caused by uncontrolled blood sugar, adhering to a diabetes maintenance plan is key. These ulcers are frequently located on the foot instead of the lower leg. As a result, avoiding pressure on the wound requires that the patient avoid walking and other activity unless absolutely necessary.
You May Like: Is Ensure Good For Ulcerative Colitis
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 Its 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.
What Causes Ulcers On The Lower Legs
Causes of venous leg ulcers A venous leg ulcer can develop after a minor injury if theres a problem with the circulation of blood in your leg veins. If this happens, pressure inside the veins increases. This constant high pressure can gradually damage the tiny blood vessels in your skin and make it fragile.
What are the first signs of a leg ulcer?
Symptoms of leg ulcers
Read Also: Best Way To Heal Stomach Ulcers
How To Use Honey For Leg Ulcers
Other Options For Pain Relief
Painkillers aren’t the only answer for many of life’s aches and pains. Many effective and safe alternatives don’t have any side effects at all.
- Ice packs, for acute injuries such as a sprained ankle, can keep down swelling and ease pain.
- Heat with a hot towel or heating pad can be helpful for treating chronic overuse injuries.
- Physical activity can help reduce some kinds of discomfort, such as arthritis pain.
- Relaxation with techniques such as yoga or meditation — may reduce pain. Biofeedback may help as well. These approaches are best for pain that’s amplified by stress, such as tension headaches.
- Nontraditional techniques with low risks — such as acupuncture — benefit some people.
So remember: Pain relief doesn’t only come from a pill bottle.
Also Check: Stelara Dosing For Ulcerative Colitis