What are Leg Ulcers and How Can They be Treated?
What are leg ulcers?
Chronic venous insufficiency can result in several complications, including swollen achy legs, pain, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), spider and varicose veins, and venous leg ulcers. Poor circulation is the most common with leg ulcers/wounds, which usually occurs between the ankle and calf and either won’t heal or heals slowly. Unmanaged lymphedema that causes leg swelling can cause leg ulcer, but that occurs less frequently.
What are the first sign of leg ulcers?
- Swollen ankles (edema)
- Darkening / reddish eczema of the skin around the ulcer.
- Hardened skin around the lower part of the leg.
- A heavy feeling in your legs.
- Aching or swelling in your legs.
How does poor circulation cause ulcers?
When veins become weak, enlarged or overstretched and valves don’t work properly, poor circulation can occur in your lower leg, possibly resulting in chronic venous insufficiency and a breakdown in skin, known as leg ulcers.
How do you treat leg ulcers?
- Intervention from a vein specialist
- Topical wound dressing
- Regular exercise, such as walking.
- Elevate your legs
- Plant-based bioflavonoid supplements have anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to have beneficial effects on vein disorders as well
- Healing may include a combination of treatment options
- Patients often require diagnostic ultrasound examinations of the leg. The ultrasound often finds that the root cause of the skin changes actually lies deeper in the circulation.
How can compression stockings help?
Compression therapy is the gold standard and addresses circulation problems by supporting the leg calf muscle and veins. Compression support increases circulation in your leg. Compression therapy also reduces hypertension and leg swelling. A healthy circulatory system is crucial to managing these types of open wounds and decreasing the risk of recurrence.
The type of compression used for the management of your leg ulcers depends on several variables and should be guided by a medical professional or certified trained fitter.
- Inelastic Compression Bandaging or Wraps: Inelastic compression garments offer little stretch and are designed to provide a comfortable high working pressure when you’re active and low working pressure when you’re resting on the swollen area. Juzo compression calf wraps with fasteners can help with donning and doffing.
- Elastic Compression Garments: Elastic compression has static pressure while you’re active and resting. This means the amount of pressure stays the same when either standing or sitting. Elastic compression garments come in variety of styles, colors and comfortable fabrics.
To learn more about the variety of compression garments such as inelastic wraps or flat knit vs circular knit or find a trained fitter through our dealer locator to help you select the correct garment.
If you have a wound on your leg or know someone who does, ask your primary care provider or medical professional about the benefits of wearing graduated compression stockings for venous ulcers.