Venous skin ulcer is a wound that develops on the skin because the leg veins cannot carry blood effectively back to the heart. This venous insufficiency causes blood to pool in the vessels and the surrounding skin tissue breaks down, leaving a visible ulcer. Venous ulcers primarily develop on the lower leg as a complication of long-term untreated venous insufficiency, and can result in pain, odor, pus, tenderness and redness. The skin surrounding the affected area may appear dark red or purple and may feel thickened, dry and itchy. These ulcers are most often found above the ankle and below the calf.
It is important to treat venous skin ulcers as soon as they appear in order to facilitate the healing process and prevent infections that could potentially lead to the loss of the limb. Treatment of venous skin ulcers is focused on improving circulation. This can be done by elevating your legs above the level of your heart and by wearing compression stockings to prevent blood from building up in the legs. However, these measures alone do not cure the underlying venous insufficiency and medical intervention is usually needed. Dr. Gitter will recommend the treatment option he feels is best for you.