Also referred to as skin ulcer, ulceration is an open sore on the skin of the leg. This circular wound usually occurs due to a tissue disintegration. It is caused by several factors such as inadequate circulation, trauma, excess pressure on the skin, and so forth. If not treated on time, the skin ulcer can lead to more serious problems.
Types and Cause of Ulceration
Ulceration occurs due to a break in the leg skin, particularly around the ankle. Some types of skin ulcer and their causes include:
Venous Skin Ulcer: This is the most common type of ulceration. It is caused by inadequate blood circulation in the leg. Here, the blood will pool in the vein instead of flowing back to the heart.
Decubitus (Pressure) Ulcer: This is also referred to as pressure or bed sores. It occurs due to long-term pressure on a particular area of the skin. This will cause the blood vessels to compress, thus, affecting normal circulation and causing the skin to breakdown.
Arterial Skin Ulcer: This occurs when the arteries are not supplying enough blood to the skin. Arterial skin ulcers are common in the lower leg.
Neuropathic Skin Ulcers: Diabetic patients usually suffer from this kind of ulceration. They occur when nerve damage brings about a loss of sensation in parts of the feet.
Other causes of skin ulcer include:
Reaction to certain medication
Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections
Symptoms of Skin Ulcer
Some of the symptoms of skin ulcer include:
Wounds that take long to heal
Rash or dry skin
Fluid oozing from sore
Swelling of the surrounding skin
In case you have a wound that is taking extended time to heal, consider seeing your physician. The doctor will examine the sore and the skin around the affected area. This will help determine the kind of skin ulcer you are suffering from. Hence, adequate treatment procedure can be recommended.
Often times, skin ulcer treatment will be tailored to the patient’s condition or severity of the ulcer. For mild skin ulcer, the physician may recommend compression bandage or stockings. This will help apply pressure on the affected area, thus, improving blood circulation and boosting the healing of the sore. Other treatment options include:
Raising the Leg: You may need to raise your leg above your heart for 3 to 4 times daily. This will help improve circulation.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be recommended for skin ulcer that is infected by bacteria. This will help eliminate the infection. The wound will be dressed for faster healing.
Surgery: Severe cases of skin ulcer may require surgery. The doctor will recommend the right surgical procedure that will help your ulcer heal faster and prevent similar problems from reoccurring.
Various ways of preventing ulceration include:
Wear compression stockings
Take aspirin to prevent blood clots
Quit smoking or drinking
Reduce the amount of cooking salt
Shed excess weight
Control of chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure
Elevated your legs from time to time
Contact Us Today!
Do you have a wound on your legs that is taking longer to heal? Contact us today at Texas Vein Health. We are always ready to help. Our qualified specialist, Dr. Vijay S. Ramanath, will be available to diagnose your condition and recommend the ideal treatment. A fantastic experience awaits you.