Leg Sores: Symptoms & Signs
Leg sores can arise from trauma, infection, tumors, or chronic medical conditions. Any process of inflammation or tissue damage can manifest as a sore on the leg. Leg sores may affect primarily the skin or can extend into the subcutaneous tissues, muscles, bone, and deeper structures of the leg. Depending upon the exact cause, they may be associated with redness, swelling, oozing, crusting, ulceration, and Common causes of leg sores include insect bites and stings, cuts and abrasions, and skin infections. REFERENCE: Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015. Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes Causes of Leg SoresContinue reading > >
Cleveland Clinic Heart Vascular & Thoracic Institute Vascular Medicine Specialists And Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your vascular disease depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with all types of vascular disease, including blood clotting disorders:
Section of Vascular Medicine: for evaluation, medical management or interventional procedures to treat vascular disease. In addition, the Non-Invasive Laboratory includes state-of-the art computerized imaging equipment to assist in diagnosing vascular disease, without added discomfort to the patient. Call Vascular Medicine Appointments, toll-free 800-223-2273, extension 44420 or request an appointment online.
Department of Vascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment of vascular disease, including aorta, peripheral artery, and venous disease. Call Vascular Surgery Appointments, toll-free 800-223-2273, extension 44508 or request an appointment online.
You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.
The Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute also has specialized centers and clinics to treat certain populations of patients:
Diabetic Foot Ulcer Pictures
Unfortunately one in four patients suffering from high level of blood glucose runs a risk of diabetic foot ulcer. Starting from a small patch on the skin on the slightest provocation this injury may become rather dangerous as far as at final stages of foot ulcer a lower limb amputation can be needed.
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What To Expect After Treatment With Cvm
At the Center for Vascular Medicine, our mission is to help patients with their vascular diseases in a cost-effective and compassionate manner. We specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of venous and arterial diseases in the legs, feet, and pelvis. Our world-class providers are the most experienced in the specialty and work with patients to develop a treatment plan that is custom-tailored to their unique situation.
Typically, this process involves an initial consultation and ultrasound scan at one of our accredited facilities. After reviewing the results of your scan and obtaining a thorough medical history, our providers will discuss the results with you and help you decide on the next steps.
Our health care providers use several diagnostic tests to help determine what vascular diseases may be causing your symptoms. Our initial evaluations utilize ultrasound because this non-invasive imaging modality helps us verify our suspicions on whether your symptoms are caused by underlying vascular disease.
Foot Ulcer that will not heal Foot ulcer that healed for the first time after the procedure
The venous stent procedure was conducted by Dr. Satwah, physician for the Center for Vascular Medicine.
What Causes Skin Ulcers
Different skin ulcers have different underlying causes, which range from poor circulation to bacterial infections.
At first, a skin ulcer might look like mild skin irritation or a slightly discolored patch of skin. Over time, the skin tissue will begin to disintegrate, forming a shallow wound.
Treatment for skin ulcers depends on the severity and the underlying cause of the ulcer.
A person can treat a skin ulcer at home if it is small and does not show signs of infection. Treatments for mild ulcers focus on preventing infection. Keep the ulcer clean and covered, if it is not leaking.
Signs of an infected ulcer include swelling, pain, drainage, or a foul odor. People who notice any of these symptoms require medical attention.
Treating a severe ulcer involves:
- removing dead tissue to stimulate the healing process
- using oral or topical antibiotics to treat any bacterial infection
- taking pain medication to relieve discomfort
Poor circulation is a major contributing factor to skin ulcer development. Improving proper circulation can help treat and prevent ulcers.
Some ways that may improve circulation and prevent ulcers include:
- wearing compression stockings
If a person does not receive treatment, skin ulcers can progress into chronic wounds or dangerous infections.
Some complications of untreated skin ulcers include:
People may be able to reduce the symptoms of mild skin ulcers and the risk of infections and complications with the following home remedies:
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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.
How Is Venous Reflux Treated
The most common treatment for venous insufficiency is prescription compression stockings. These special elastic stockings apply pressure at the ankle and lower leg. They help improve blood flow and can reduce leg swelling. Compression stockings come in a range of prescription strengths and different lengths.
Discolored ankles is a sign of venous insufficiency Sometimes deposits of hemosiderin can accumulate under your skin when your blood flow is too insufficient to return the excess iron to your immune system to be cleared away, leaving dark pigmentation in your ankles known as stasis dermatitis.
Chronic wounds, by definition, are sores that dont heal within about three months. They can start small, as a pimple or a scratch. They might scab over again and again, but they dont get better. Aug 31, 2020
Venous Ulcer Stages Stage 1 Skin becomes red and inflamed. This stage often goes undetected because the symptoms look similar to a bug bite, bruise, or mild irritation. Stage 2 The inflamed skin may leak a small amount of fluid. The condition is more likely to be noticed at this stage.
What do leg ulcers look like? Leg ulcers are sores that can develop between your knee and ankle. They often begin as shallow ulcers with uneven edges that drain or weep a lot. Feb 15, 2021
Obesity is a risk factor for venous insufficiency. You can reduce your risk of developing it and slow progression by losing extra pounds.
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Ulcers Caused By Problems With Blood Circulation
The blood supply coming to the skin is needed for the skin to heal after it has become broken or split for any reason. If there is a problem with circulation, the break in the skin does not heal, and may persist, leaving an ulcer. This may be a problem with the veins, the arteries, or the smaller blood vessels. The kinds of ulcers caused by circulation problems are:
- Venous ulcers. These ulcers and their treatment are described in the separate leaflet called Venous Leg Ulcers. They occur when the circulation in your legs is not working very well. Fluid tends to pool in the legs because the veins don’t work well enough to pump the blood efficiently back to the heart . This type of ulcer is more common in people with varicose veins that have lead to associated skin problems such as varicose eczema. They are also more common if you are overweight or obese, or not very mobile for any reason. They can also occur when the circulation is damaged by a deep vein thrombosis .
- Arterial ulcers. These are caused by conditions affecting arteries – see the separate leaflet called Peripheral Arterial disease.
- Vasculitic ulcers. These are caused by a number of conditions which cause blood vessels to become inflamed. This is called vasculitis.
What Are Diabetic Foot Problems
Diabetes mellitus represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the bodys ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious.
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Symptoms Of Buruli Ulcer
The progression of symptoms can include:
- A spot that looks like a mosquito or spider bite forms on the skin .
- The spot grows bigger over days or weeks.
- The spot may form a crusty, non-healing scab.
- The scab then disintegrates into an ulcer.
- The ulcer continues to enlarge.
- Unlike other ulcers, this ulcer is usually painless and there is generally no fever or other signs of infection.
- The infection may sometimes present with no ulceration but with localised pain, swelling and fever, raised lumps, or thickened or raised flat areas of skin.
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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How Is Venous Insufficiency Diagnosed
Your doctor will want to do a physical examination and take a complete medical history to figure out if you have venous insufficiency. They may also order some imaging tests to pinpoint the source of the problem. These tests may include a venogram or a duplex ultrasound.
Venogram. Your doctor will put an intravenous contrast dye into your veins. Contrast dye causes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the X-ray image, which helps the doctor see them on the image. This dye will provide your doctor with a clearer x-ray picture of your blood vessels.
Duplex ultrasound. A type of test called a duplex ultrasound may be used to test the speed and direction of blood flow in the veins. A technician will place gel on the skin and then press a small hand-held device against your skin. The transducer uses sound waves that bounce back to a computer and produce the images of blood flow.
Where Do They Occur
Skin cancers tend to occur more in sun-exposed areas of the body such as the ears, nose, forehead, upper lips, shoulders, and the back and lower legs. However, some ulcers can develop internally due to cancer under the skinan ulcer can be a result of breast or bone cancer growing close to the surface of the skin.
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What Are Little White Worms Coming Out Of My Dogs But
A tapeworm body consists of multiple parts, or segments, each with its own reproductive organs. Tapeworm infections are usually diagnosed by finding segmentswhich appear as small white worms that may look like grains of rice or seedson the rear end of your dog, in your dogs feces, or where your dog lives and sleeps.
Symptoms Of Skin Ulcers Which Are Infected Include:
- Pus draining from the skin
- Skin pain
- Skin tenderness
- Skin swelling
- Red streaks in the skin Lymphangitis of the arm and Lymphangitis of the back of the legs
At the start of the formation of an ulcer of the skin, the cells in the area of the body begin to break down and slough away, leaving the area red. Without treatment of the underlying reason for the skin degradation, the erosion of cells may eventually form a blister or bubble of fluid, just beneath the skin. This then breaks open and creates a crater. This crater is the actual skin ulcer and is generally characterized by a perimeter of skin which is surrounding a shiny, depressed center, which can be red, green or yellow depending on how much skin has deteriorated and whether or not an infection has developed.
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Treatment For Buruli Ulcer
Most Buruli ulcers can be treated with a course of specific oral antibiotics. Surgery is sometimes used in combination with antibiotic therapy. If surgery is required, a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue is also cut out to make sure the infection is completely removed. Depending on the extent of surgery, skin grafts may be needed to close the wound. Sometimes the ulcer can return after surgery, requiring another course of antibiotics or an operation . As the ulcer gets bigger with time, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can minimise skin loss.
What Are Some Common Foot Problems Of People With Diabetes
Anyone can get the foot problems listed below. For people with diabetes, however, these common foot problems can possibly lead to infection and serious complications that could make amputation necessary.
Athletes foot Athletes foot is a fungus that causes itching, redness, and cracking. Germs can enter through the cracks in your skin and cause an infection. Medicines that kill the fungus are used to treat athletes foot. These medicines may be pills and/or creams applied directly to the problem area. Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a medication for athletes foot.
Fungal infection of nails Nails that are infected with a fungus may become discolored , thick and brittle, and may separate from the bed of the nail. In some cases, the nail may crumble. The dark, moist and warm environment of shoes can promote fungal growth. In addition, an injury to the nail can put you at risk for a fungal infection. Fungal nail infections are difficult to treat. Topical medications are available, but they only help a small number of fungal nail problems. Oral medications may be prescribed by your health care provider. Treatment also may include periodic removal of the damaged nail tissue.
Dry skin Dry skin can result if the nerves in your legs and feet do not get the message from your brain to sweat, which keeps your skin soft and moist. Dry skin can crack, which can allow germs to enter. Use moisturizing soaps and lotions to help keep your skin moist and soft.
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When To See A Dermatologist
Diabetes can cause many other skin problems. Most skin problems are harmless, but even a minor one can become serious in people who have diabetes. A board-certified dermatologist can recognize skin problems due to diabetes and help you manage them.
Are all dermatologists board certified?
No. See what it takes to become board certified.
ImagesImage 1: Image Courtesy of Clark C. Otley, MD. All Rights Reserved
Images 3, 7, 8, 9: Used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2 from DermNetNZ
Some images used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
ReferencesCohen Sabban, EN. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus from A to Z. Focus session presented at: 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology March 4-8, 2016 Washington D.C.
Duff M, Demidova O, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of diabetes mellitus. Clinical Diabetes. 2015 33:40-8.
Kalus AA, Chien AJ, et al. Diabetes mellitus and other endocrine disorders. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:1461-70.
McKinley-Grant L, Warnick M, et al. Cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease. In: Kelly AP and Taylor S. Dermatology for Skin of Color. . The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. China, 2009:481-4.
Morgan AJ and Schwartz RA. Diabetic dermopathy: A subtle sign with grave implications. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 58:447-51.
How Do You Treat An Ulcer
An untreated ulcer can lead to serious problems — including the need for amputation. If you think you have an ulcer, see your doctor right away. The sooner you get treatment, the less likely you are to have another problem.
Your doctor will examine your skin and may take an X-ray to see if your ulcer has affected the nearest bone. In some cases, your doctor may use other tests to see if you have blood vessel disease.
Next, your doctor will treat your ulcer with a procedure called debridement. Here, the doctor removes unhealthy tissue from the wound to start the healing process. Your doctor may prescribe medications, such as antibiotics, that you swallow or rub on the sore.
Talk to your doctor about how to care for your ulcer at home. You might need to:
- Clean your ulcer daily with soap and water. Dont use hydrogen peroxide or soak your wound in a bath or whirlpool. This can discourage healing and increase your risk of infection.
- Keep your ulcer bandaged or covered with a wound dressing. Your doctor may recommend specific bandaging steps. Airing out a wound increases your odds of infection and slows healing.
- Apply medications such as saline, skin substitutes, and substances that make skin cells grow.
- Take better care of other health problems, such as diabetes or vascular disease.
- Keep pressure off your ulcer, especially if its on your foot.
You might need crutches, special footwear, a brace, or other devices to reduce pressure and irritation so your ulcer heals faster.
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