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Vein Ulcers

Vein Ulcers: What Are They, and How to Treat Them


An ulcer is an open sore that appears on the skin. Vein ulcers specifically refer to open sores on the skin that are caused by problems with blood circulation, and they most often occur on the legs. Unlike with other types of wounds, a venous ulcer may not heal by itself, and may require medical intervention to address the cause and facilitate the healing process.


What can cause vein ulcers to appear?


The most common cause for this type of ulcer is the failure of the valves in the veins of the leg. These valves control the blood pressure in the legs, as well as help to facilitate the flow of blood back up the legs towards the heart. When the valves fail, the failure can cause sustained hypertension (high blood pressure) in the lower legs, which can lead to vein ulcers forming around the ankle region.


These valve failures can also lead to other conditions, such as the forming of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, which may, in turn, contribute to the forming of vein ulcers.

Topical wound care and treatment


As mentioned, an ulcer needs more care and attention to heal than a regular wound. If you have an ulcer, take care of the following points to help support the healing of the wound:


  • Keep the wound clean at all times.
  • If possible, apply a dressing to the wound.
  • Apply creams or ointments that are antibacterial and can help prevent or treat an infection.
  • Avoid creams and soap that may cause skin sensitivity.


Treating the underlying cause


For less severe cases, it may help to wear compression stockings, avoid standing for long periods of time, and to not cross your legs when you sit to help prevent blood from pooling in the legs. Longer-term preventative measures also include maintaining an ideal weight, and getting exercise to help promote blood flow.


However, if vein ulcers are more severe or tend to reappear, you may want to treat the underlying causes – the damaged veins. There are a number of treatments available, depending on the status and severity of the damaged veins. These include:


  • Sonar-guided treatment
  • Phlebectomy
  • The button ligation method
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Endovenous laser treatment


For more information on vein ulcers, about the treatment options, and to determine which course of action is right for you, get in touch with The Gibson Vein Practice. With over 25 years of experience in medical practice, the Gibson Vein Practice, alongside the advanced treatments on offer, are known to produce exceptional results.

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