Venous Leg Ulcers; Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


I. What Is a Venous Leg Ulcer?

Venous ulcers are one of the most dreadful types of skin ulcers, and are sometimes referred to as stasis leg ulcers. The reason they are dreadful is that they are caused by poor circulation in the underlying veins. They can often linger for years until the underlying cause is properly treated. They often occur on the inner side of the ankles.



II. What Are the Symptoms of a Venous Leg Ulcer?

The initial sign of a venous leg ulcer is discoloration of the skin. The affected area will appear dark red or purple, and the skin may become dry, thick or itchy. If not treated, the skin may break and create an ulcer. The area might become painful, and the leg may swell or ache. If infection occurs the wound may slowly get bigger, develop an odor or drain pus.


III. What Causes Venous Leg Ulcers?

The formation of venous leg ulcers is due to poor circulation. Venous insufficiency is most often the root cause. When properly functioning, the one-way valves in our veins keep blood flowing back to the heart. When these valves are damaged, gravity causes the blood to pool in the veins and eventually leak into the surrounding tissue. The added pressure and fluid beneath the skin causes damage to the skin and progressively breaks it down until an ulcer is formed.


IV. How Are Venous Leg Ulcers Treated?

It is important to call your doctor at the first signs of a venous leg ulcer. By seeking treatment right away you may prevent an ulcer from forming, or stop an existing ulcer from becoming worse. Your doctor will treat the infection by cleaning and dressing the wound, and make recommendations in regards to activity and elevation of the leg. However, it is most important to address the underlying condition to prevent ulcers from reoccurring.

Dr. Sassan Kaveh has extensive experience in the diagnosis and prevention of venous leg ulcers, along with treatment of venous insufficiency and other related conditions. He has successfully treated many patients with the latest minimally invasive in-office procedures, making Alpha Vein Clinic one of the most reputable vein clinics in Las Vegas. Contact our staff to schedule an evaluation!