Discover How to Heal Your Venous Ulcers & Take Control of Your Health Now!

Discover How to Heal Your Venous Ulcers & Take Control of Your Health Now!

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Discover How to Heal Your Venous Ulcers & Take Control of Your Health Now!

Discover How to Heal Your Venous Ulcers & Take Control of Your Health Now!

January 20, 2023

Venous ulcers are painful open sores that appear on the inside of the leg. But discomfort isn’t the only frustrating aspect of having venous ulcers. They take an incredibly long time to heal! 

When you get a cut or a scrape, the body kickstarts its healing process to begin closing the wound. Venous ulcers, however, are a chronic issue and can take 3 to 4 months to heal. Sometimes, they won’t heal without help from your vein clinic

You can also contact Dr. Steven B. Heird – a leading vascular surgeon and an aesthetic specialist at York, Pennsylvania, to discuss your vein issues and learn about treatment options.

What causes these chronic ulcers? And what can be done about them? Let’s jump in and learn more. 

Signs & Symptoms Of a Venous Ulcer 

Stasis dermatitis is an early sign of a venous ulcer that may be on its way. When blood pools into the lower leg, blood cells leak into the skin and other tissues, causing itchiness and thinning of the skin. If this happens, an ulcer could soon follow. 

Other early signs include: 

  • Swelling, heaviness, and cramping in the legs. 
  • Purple, brown, and red skin
  • Hardened skin 
  • Itchiness and irritation 

Symptoms of a developed ulcer include:

  • Shallow sores ringed with red and covered with yellow tissue 
  • Uneven shape
  • Discoloration of the skin around the sore 
  • Leg pain
  • If the sores are infected, there may be a bad odor and the presence of pus
  • Slow healing or no sign of healing 

What Causes Venous Ulcers? 

Venous ulcers are caused by damage to the valves inside your veins. The damage results in weaker veins, or veins that are blocked, which affect the way your blood flows. Instead of traveling back up toward your heart, the blood flows backward and pools into your legs. This then causes high blood pressure in the veins. Due to this pressure, nutrients and oxygen can’t get to the tissues, leading to their damage. Soon enough you get an ulcer. 

The damage to your valves could be caused by injury, obesity, genetics, or another reason. We call this condition venous insufficiency. 

Treatment Options For Venous Ulcers 

  1. Cleaning & dressing

The first thing to do would be to clean and dress the ulcer. Any debris or dead tissue will first be removed from the area and a non-sticky dressing will be applied. The dressing will need to be changed once a week and should be kept dry. Be sure to keep the skin around the dressing dry too, or the wound can get bigger as the healthy tissue softens. 

  1. Compression

To support healing, your healthcare professional will aim to stop blood from pooling into your legs. You’ll need to wear a compression stocking or bandage over the affected leg to help with circulation. These bandages squeeze your legs, encouraging blood to flow upwards and back toward the heart. If you have other symptoms associated with venous insufficiency, the compression bandage can minimize these. 

The truth is, putting a compression bandage on top of an ulcer is painful, so you’ll need to bear it. However, you can use painkillers to help with the pain. As the ulcer heals, the pain will gradually subside. 

Quick note: watch out for blue toes! If your toes change color or you get severe pain at the front of your ankle (or the top of your foot), the compression bandage will need to come off. 

  1. Dealing with associated symptoms

What can we do about associated symptoms? 

If you have venous ulcers, you may struggle with itchy and scaly skin, known as varicose eczema. This can be treated with an emollient or a special steroid cream prescribed by your doctor. 

Swelling is another symptom associated with venous ulcers. The compression bandage or stocking will help reduce the swelling by improving circulation. But there’s more you can do to relieve the swelling. When sitting down, elevate your feet above the level of your heart to stop the blood from pooling into the legs. 

Taking regular walks can ease your symptoms too. The last thing you want to do is spend all your time sitting or standing. Keep your feet elevated or moving! 

What If The Wound is Infected? 

If your ulcer is infected, your doctor will prescribe you a course of antibiotics. While this will treat the infection, it won’t get rid of the ulcer. 

How do you know your ulcer is infected? 

If you’re generally feeling unwell and there’s discharge coming off your wound, you may have an infected ulcer. If that’s the case, get in touch with your doctor as soon as you can. Infected wounds need prompt treatment! 

Follow-Up Appointments 

It’s vital you go to follow-up appointments. Since treating ulcers takes a bit of time, you’ll need to be closely monitored by a professional. As the wound gets closer to healing, follow-ups will become less frequent. 

Preventing More Ulcers

If your ulcer heals, great! But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear just yet. Your ulcer was caused by high blood pressure and circulation issues. This all needs to be corrected, or you’re at risk of developing even more ulcers. 

You can prevent getting more ulcers by wearing compression stockings. Your doctor can talk to you about the most suitable type. If you have other issues like varicose veins or you’re overweight, these can all make ulcers more likely, so they’ll need to be addressed. 

Your vein specialist will speak to you about the next best steps. If you follow them, you can reduce your chances of getting more leg ulcers and better your vein health at the same time. 

What To Do Right Now If You Think You Have a Venous Ulcer 

If you believe you have a venous ulcer, now is the time to book an appointment with a vein specialist. These ulcers need treatment to heal. Plus, having ulcers points to an issue with your vein health. Your doctor can find out what’s happening and give you practical advice to safeguard your health from future vein-related problems. 

See One Of Our Experienced Vein Doctors in York or Lancaster, Pennsylvania 

Don’t put up with venous ulcers. Our qualified and highly trained vein doctors can work with you to clear them. Not only can they help you finally heal your venous ulcers, but they can also treat the vein issues that caused them in the first place. 

Visit one of our centers in Pennsylvania for an in-depth appointment and put your vein troubles to rest. 
Ready to book your appointment? Give us a call today.

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