Venous Ulcers: Preventing and Treatment
Venous leg ulcers are the most common type of skin ulcer. Each year in the US more than 200,000 cases are reported. They mainly occur on the lower leg just above the ankle. They usually affect older people and can be very painful.
Venous ulcers occur because of the breakdown of normal tissue due to high blood pressure in the leg veins caused by venous disease (chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins).
Preventing Venous Ulcers
Preventing venous ulcers involves controlling your exposure to the risk factors. Steps to preventing venous ulcers:
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you have a venous condition, seek treatment before it gets worse.
Venous Ulcer Treatment
Treatment must begin immediately after a venous ulcer forms. A relatively new technique for healing venous ulcers, the TIRS procedure reduces venous hypertension by injecting foam into the veins in the ulcer area, which allows the venous ulcer to heal. The average time for an ulcer to heal is 6 to 8 weeks.
Reducing the pressure in the veins, elevating the leg, and keeping the ulcer clean and dry are crucial to preventing recurrence of venous ulcers. Wearing compression stockings or leg wraps helps reduce the pressure, and your Water’s Edge vein specialist will determine the type of dressing to use on your ulcer.