Venous Leg Ulcers
Approximately 70 percent of all leg ulcers are venous ulcers. A leg with venous problems has a very characteristic appearance:
- the leg is swollen.
- the skin surrounding a the ulcer is dry, itchy and sometimes brownish in color.
- eczema may appear
- the ulcer often has a weeping appearance and usually painless unless infected.
- venous ulcers are often located just above the ankle, typically on the inside of the leg.
What causes venous leg ulcers?
Most of the venous leg ulcers occur because the valves in the veins in your legs are not functioning properly.
The venous system is made up of superficial and deep veins:
- superficial veins are located between the skin and the muscles
- deep veins are located between the muscles.
The valves in the veins normally ensure that blood flows from the superficial veins to the deep system.
Failure of these valves prevents proper blood flow to from the superficial system to the deep system. This can result in formation of varicose veins and in more serious cases leg ulcers.