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A venous ulcer is an open sore, usually on your legs that can be slow to heal. You get them when your veins aren’t working properly and are not pushing the blood back to your heart as well as they should. This causes the blood to pool in your veins and the pressure to build which impairs circulation. If they are not treated, this pressure and extra blood can create an open sore.
Signs of venous ulcers:
A shallow, red sore that may be covered in yellow tissue
Skin around the wound that may be shiny, tight, warm and discolored
If infected, they may smell bad and there may be draining pus
There are many different factors that can lead to a venous ulcer including varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), aging, and diabetes, a history of venous problems, obesity, pregnancy, smoking and sitting or standing for long periods of time.
CARING FOR VENOUS ULCERS
Treatment includes leg elevation, compression, and wound care. Sometimes surgery is needed to improve blood flow to the area. Regular visits to your doctor to monitor the healing process are needed.
Proper wound care is needed to help these sore heal properly. It is vital to keep the ulcer clean and protected to prevent infection. The dressing needs to be kept dry and changed regularly. The skin around the ulcer must be protected as well. Not getting it too wet, keeping it clean and moisturized may help prevent the wound from getting bigger.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF you see any signs of infection. Redness, increased warmth, swelling, bleeding or odor are all reasons to call. A fever or chills, increased pain or drainage should not be ignored.
Our doctors are here to help you.
It’s always better to call or come in for a visit than to wait to see what happens.