When you have healthy veins in your legs, a wound heals relatively quickly. But if you have a venous ulcer, a secondary condition to venous insufficiency, or other health conditions affecting your veins, the skilled team at Vascular Specialists in Tinley Park and Evergreen Park, Illinois, and Munster, Indiana, can teach you the proper wound care for slow-healing ulcers. For more information about venous ulcers and ulcer care, call Vascular Specialists, or book an appointment online today.
Venous ulcers are open, slow-healing wounds that appear on your lower legs due to venous insufficiency or arterial insufficiency. When you have poor blood flow in these areas, wounds heal slower than they would with adequate blood flow.
Venous ulcers form because the valves in the veins of your lower legs can’t keep blood flowing upward toward your heart. Normally, the valves close as the blood flows upward to prevent it from falling back down due to gravity. When the valves become weak or malfunction, your blood tends to pool in your lower legs.
The pooling blood from venous insufficiency eventually causes blood cells and fluid to leak into the tissues around the vein, including your skin. When this happens, an ulcer forms.
Venous ulcers can express many features but typically look like open wounds. In the beginning, you might notice generalized leg swelling and skin changes before the ulcer appears. The skin on your ankles and lower legs might become firmer and change to a red, brown, or purple color. You might also note that it itches or tingles.
Once an ulcer forms, its symptoms and features often include:
Venous ulcers can also get infected and cause additional symptoms, like pus drainage and a foul odor. If this happens and you haven’t yet found care for your ulcer, you should seek treatment right away.
When you come to Vascular Specialists with symptoms of a venous ulcer or symptoms that come before a venous ulcer, the team might use a vascular ultrasound to first diagnose you with venous insufficiency using a vascular ultrasound. Ultrasound technology works by creating a real-time image of your blood flow using soundwaves.
Your venous ulcer treatment may involve nutritional counseling and guidance alongside wound care. Wound care for a venous ulcer involves:
The team teaches you the correct steps for cleaning and wound care to help your ulcer heal as quickly and effectively as possible. They may also provide minimally-invasive treatment for your venous or arterial issues, like VenaSeal® vein treatment, sclerotherapy, or endovenous ablation with lasers.
Venous ulcers are difficult to treat effectively on your own. For professional venous ulcer care, call Vascular Specialists, or book an appointment online today.