Venous ulcers affect about 1% of Americans and are more common among women and older adults. Wound care specialist Eugenio Rodriguez, MD, diagnoses and treats venous ulcers at Wound Care Associates located in Delray Beach, Florida. If you have leg swelling, discoloration, or sores, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Venous ulcers, also called stasis ulcers, are open wounds that develop on your legs, typically just above your ankle. You may develop a venous ulcer when the veins in your legs don’t pump blood back up to your heart as they should.
Your veins contain valves that actively pump deoxygenated blood back to your heart. However, for the veins in your legs, these valves work against gravity to return blood to your heart. If these valves become damaged or worn down over time, it can cause blood to flow backward and collect in your veins.
In addition to venous ulcers, insufficient blood flow in the veins can cause several other problems, including:
These issues can lead to leg cramps, pain, and swelling, in addition to severe complications such as blood clots or stroke.
Venous ulcers are shallow, red sores with irregularly shaped borders. The skin around the ulcers may be shiny, tight, or even warm to the touch. In some instances, your skin may also appear yellow or otherwise discolored.
Common symptoms of venous ulcers include:
The best way to determine if the sores on your legs are venous ulcers is to schedule an appointment at Wound Care Associates.
Dr. Rodriguez begins by performing a physical exam and reviewing your medical history.
Once he determines the underlying cause of your venous ulcers, he can develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Treatment for venous ulcers may begin with lifestyle changes to promote healthier circulation, such as:
He may also recommend conservative measures like keeping the ulcers and the surrounding areas clean or wearing compression socks to prevent blood from pooling in your legs. If conservative measures fail, he may recommend:
Venous ulcers shouldn’t be ignored given that they can contribute to serious complications. Call Wound Care Associates or book an appointment online today.