Venous Stasis Ulcer
An ulcer on your ankle or leg is much more serious than a simple cosmetic issue. It may signal a severe underlying condition, such as venous insufficiency that occurs when the blood vessels in your legs aren’t working properly. A venous stasis ulcer is easily treatable if you have it treated early enough by your doctor at Century Medical and Dental Center. You may even be able to resolve the problem with simple at-home regimens while addressing the underlying conditions that led to the ulcer formation. Make an appointment with a vein specialist to diagnose and treat leg ulcers at one of three convenient Brooklyn locations.
Venous stasis ulcers, also known as venous ulcers, are open sores on your lower legs or ankles. These sores are very slow to heal, which one clue that they aren’t just a regular sore. Venous ulcers happen when the veins in your legs don’t move blood back to your heart as efficiently as they should. This is known as venous insufficiency. Untreated, ulcers can become infected and lead to gangrene and even amputation.
The most common area for venous ulcers to form is below the calf and above the ankle on either or both sides of your legs. The vein doctors in Brooklyn at Century Medical and Dental Center are specially trained in comprehensive medical care and can provide effective venous stasis ulcer treatment. They’re part of a multi-disciplinary team of specialists ready to help with any underlying or co-existing conditions you may have.
Symptoms of Venous Stasis Ulcers
Often, the first sign of venous stasis is blood pooling in your lower legs. Venous stasis dermatitis is characterized by itching and inflammation, triggered by fluid and blood cells leaking out of the veins and onto the skin. Stasis dermatitis may progress and cause open sores that are much more susceptible to infection.
Symptoms of venous stasis ulcers include:
- Leg pain
- Skin that turns dark red or purple
- A shallow sore with perhaps a red base
- Borders of the sore that are shaped unevenly
- Surrounding skin that’s discolored or hot to the touch
Infection in the sore can develop. If this happens, you might notice pus draining from the wound and an unpleasant odor. It’s a sign you need immediate treatment.
What Causes Venous Stasis Ulcers?
Venous stasis ulcers usually happen because of damage to the valves inside the leg veins. When these valves are damaged, it’s difficult for blood to flow back to the heart. Blood pools in your lower legs or ankles, and fluid leaks into the surrounding tissue. This causes the skin to break down and form a wound.
Any condition that leads to poor circulation in your legs can increase your risk of developing venous stasis ulcers, such as diabetes or congestive heart failure. If you have varicose veins or a history of blood clots in your legs, which are known as deep vein thrombosis, you may be at risk of developing this condition. Other factors may increase your risk of developing venous ulcers, such as:
- Lack of regular physical activity
- Standing for long periods of time
Diagnosis of Venous Ulcers
To diagnose venous stasis ulcers, your doctor examines your wound and the surrounding tissue. After looking for any discoloration, swelling and drainage, your vein specialist asks questions about any ongoing health conditions you may have. He may even check for other symptoms, such as fever.
Your doctor may recommend a duplex Doppler ultrasound. This is a non-invasive test that uses reflected sound waves to monitor the speed and direction of blood flow. It shows how efficiently blood is flowing through your leg veins.
Venous Skin Ulcer Treatment
Venous stasis ulcer treatment depends on the size and severity of your sores and other symptoms. Your wound needs to be cleaned regularly. Your doctor shows you how to apply a dressing to keep it covered and dry. He may prescribe topical medicine to help it heal or oral antibiotics to treat an infection. Wearing compression stockings and elevating your leg can prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities. You’re instructed to avoid skin care products that cause your skin to be more sensitive.
You may undergo a test for allergies that could impede healing. Your doctor may remove dead tissue from the wound in a procedure known as debridement. Skin grafting may be recommended for deep ulcers that have proven difficult to heal.
Getting Medical Help for Venous Ulcers
Venous stasis ulcers are slow to heal because of the poor circulation in your leg. Whenever you have a sore that doesn’t heal or symptoms such as fever, chills, increased pain, swelling or drainage, getting expert medical evaluation and care gives you the best opportunity for healing.
Don’t risk serious complications. Contact Century Medical and Dental Center today. You will receive the best venous ulcer treatment possible from our top-rated Brooklyn practitioners.