What You Need to Know about Venous Ulcers
Venous ulcers are one of the most serious complications that can arise from untreated varicose veins. These open sores have a high infection and recurrence rate, making them very challenging to treat completely. Fortunately, there are often warning signs that these ulcerations could develop, which can prompt you to seek treatment before the condition worsens.
What are Venous Ulcers?
Venous ulcers, also known as stasis ulcers, are open sores that typically appear on the lower leg around the ankle. Although they often begin with a small nick or cut in the skin, they can quickly grow to become large, gaping wounds that are often quite painful. Other symptoms may also accompany the ulcer, including heaviness or aching in the legs, swelling of the lower leg and foot, skin discoloration and irritation.
Why do They Occur?
Venous ulcers are the product of an underlying condition known as venous insufficiency, which occurs when the veins in the lower leg stop working as efficiently as they once did. Blood can begin to pool inside these lower veins, causing swelling of the vessel and the appearance of varicose veins. Poor blood circulation in the lower extremity also leads to skin and tissue damage, since blood and nutrients are not carried through the area as effectively. These skin changes can slowly evolve into the formation of a venous ulcer.
Skin changes often precede the formation of the skin sore, which might include:
- Skin thickening and a scaly appearance
- Itching, burning or irritation
- Discoloration, as skin changes to red or brown
- Skin may feel extraordinarily tight in the area
If these symptoms appear, treatment for the venous condition may ward off further complications. There are numerous treatments for venous insufficiency today, which can stop the condition in its tracks, eliminate uncomfortable varicose veins and prevent venous ulcers from forming.
At PCI Vein Center, we offer a number of minimally-invasive vein treatments that eliminate varicose veins and stop further complications with minimal discomfort or downtime. Tried and true treatments like sclerotherapy combine with revolutionary technology such as laser and radiofrequency energy to provide a full menu of treatment options for our patients. These treatments are designed to eliminate faulty veins that lead to venous insufficiency, while improving circulation to the area.
Venous ulcers are a challenging complication of varicose veins and venous insufficiency that are difficult to treat once they form. Stop those ulcerations before they stop with vein treatment designed for your specific needs and desired outcome. To learn more, contact Dr. Lawrence, PCI Vein Center at 319-774-8432.