Venous leg ulcers

What is a venous leg ulcer

By: Mölnlycke Health Care, December 27 2011Posted in: Venous leg ulcers

Leg with large venous leg ulcerA venous leg ulcer is a chronic non-healing wound with broken skin and exposed tissue. If you have a venous leg ulcer, you may also have:

  • Swollen ankles that are filled with fluid that temporarily hold the imprint of your finger when pressed (known as pitting oedema)
  • Discolouration and darkening of your skin around the ulcer (known as hyperpigmentation)
  • Hardened skin around the ulcer, which may make your leg feel hard and resemble the shape of an upside-down champagne bottle (known as lipodermatosclerosis)
  • Small, smooth areas of white skin, which may have tiny red spots (known as atrophie blanche)

The associated symptoms of a venous leg ulcer are caused by blood not flowing properly through your veins. This is known as venous insufficiency which can cause:

  • Leg pain, which can be continuous or intermittent (it may come and go)
  • A 'heavy' feeling in the affected leg
  • Aching
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Varicose eczema (itchy, irritated skin associated with varicose veins)
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