When you have an open wound that doesn’t heal, it’s important to get help from a medical professional. Venous stasis ulcers — sores that form on your ankle or legs due to faulty veins — require medical diagnosis and attention since they form when an underlying condition isn’t managed.
Vascular surgeon Rashmi Sharma, MD, RPVI, and the team at Hamptons Vein & Vascular in Rutherford and Westfield, New Jersey, specialize in diagnosing and treating venous stasis ulcers and the condition that causes them: venous insufficiency.
Here’s what you need to know about this serious leg condition.
What are the signs of venous stasis ulcers?
The first symptom of a venous ulcer involves changes to your skin. Changes like your skin turning purple or red occur because of bleeding under the skin from the affected vein. Your skin may also get dry, itchy, or thicker than normal.
Over time, the skin breaks open, creating a painful sore or ulcer. You may also have swelling or an achy feeling in your legs. These ulcers are at high risk of getting infected since they remain open.
Signs of an infected venous stasis ulcer include:
- Increased pain and tenderness
- Redness around the ulcer
- Leaking pus
If you have any of the signs of a venous stasis ulcer, don’t wait to schedule an evaluation with us. The sooner you start treatment, the better the chances of stopping an open sore from forming and preventing infection.
Who is at risk of getting a venous stasis ulcer?
Venous stasis ulcers affect many people. Most of the time, they’re caused by an underlying condition or disease in your veins, like venous insufficiency.
Venous insufficiency results when the one-way valves that keep your blood moving in the right direction stop working. With the valves not working, your blood can flow in the wrong direction. Sometimes it pools under your skin, leading to venous stasis ulcers.
You’re at higher risk of developing venous insufficiency and venous ulcers if you:
- Are overweight or obese
- Are female
- Had multiple pregnancies
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have a family history of venous insufficiency
- Have a job that requires you sit or stand a lot
- Are sedentary or inactive
If venous stasis ulcers run in your family or you have a history of varicose veins, your risk is also higher.
Are venous stasis ulcers treatable?
If you have the signs of an open venous ulcer, seek treatment right away to avoid an infection. At Hamptons Vein & Vascular, our goal is to help you avoid these painful ulcers altogether. One of the best ways to prevent venous leg ulcers is to schedule an appointment if you have any of the warning signs.
Our practice not only treats any current ulcers, but we also provide you with guidance so you can avoid venous ulcers in the future, such as:
- Treating varicose veins
- Wearing compression stocking
- Elevating your feet
- Exercising and losing weight
Don’t wait to seek help if you have any signs of venous stasis ulcers. Contact the Hamptons Vein & Vascular office nearest you by phone or online to schedule an evaluation today.