Venous Stasis Ulcers: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Vein Care, Vein Treatment

Venous stasis ulcers is a common complication of chronic venous insufficiency, affecting approximately 1% of the population. The condition is caused by damage to the veins that results in stagnation of blood flow. This can lead to the formation of open sores on the skin, typically on the lower leg. 

 

Venous stasis ulcers can be painful and debilitating, and require treatment to heal. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatments for venous stasis ulcers. We’ll also provide advice for preventing these unsightly sores from developing in the first place.

 

 What is Venous Stasis Ulcer, and What Causes it?

 

Venous stasis ulcer (also called venous leg ulcers) is a venous disease that manifests in the form of open wounds. This is a common problem for people who live with venous insufficiency as these wounds can be painful and difficult to heal. 

 

This is caused by prolonged pressure on the legs. This can happen when people are bedridden for an extended period of time without changing positions to relieve swelling in their lower extremities. It may be related to reduced blood flow and oxygenation of tissues because it often develops after periods of high activity followed by long periods where the person’s feet remain still. 

 

 Symptoms of Venous Stasis Ulcer

 

  • Pain in the affected area
  • Redness and swelling around the affected area
  • Leg cramping
  • Skin changes such as hyperpigmentation, eczema, or lichenification (thickened patches of skin)
  • Leg feels heavy
  • The early stages may not have any symptoms at all other than a persistent itchy feeling. 

As venous leg ulcers worsen, they can cause bleeding to occur from affected areas. When this happens you should seek medical attention immediately because it can be an indicator that your wound is infected.

 

Treatments for Venous Stasis Ulcer

 

Depending on the severity of the wound. In some cases, venous ulcers may only require a change in lifestyle habits such as abstaining from smoking and keeping your leg elevated as much as possible. If there is significant damage to the skin, however, surgery or other medical procedures may be necessary to close the wound and promote healing. Treatment for venous stasis ulcer generally requires a multidisciplinary approach and can include:

 

  • Compression therapy

Compression therapy is a common treatment for vein disorders and diseases. Compression garments are tight-fitting stockings, socks, or wraps that help compress the affected veins. This compression therapy helps improve blood flow and prevents blood from pooling in the veins.

 

  • Debridement (the removal of dead tissue)

Debridement is a procedure that removes dead or damaged tissue from the body. This can help improve blood flow and reduce symptoms. Vein debridement is typically performed with surgery or a laser. 

 

  • Topical treatments like dressings or bandages soaked in medications

While some cases require surgery, many can be treated with topical medications like dressings or bandages soaked in medications. This approach is often less invasive and has a shorter recovery time than surgery. 

 

  • Antibiotics if an infection is present

Antibiotics can help clear the infection and prevent it from spreading. It is important to take all of the antibiotics prescribed, even if you start to feel better before finishing the entire prescription. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of antibiotics can make the infection resistant to treatment and could lead to a more serious infection. 

 

  • Electrical stimulation

Electrical stimulation has recently been shown to be an effective treatment for venous stasis ulcers. This treatment option is non-invasive and poses a lower risk of complication when compared to surgery. Electrical stimulation can be performed in either a clinic or home setting, making it a versatile option for patients. 

 

Make sure you consult with your doctor before starting any new treatment plan for venous stasis ulcers.

 

Preventing the Development of Venous Stasis Ulcer

 

Preventing this condition before it arises can be a lot easier and less expensive in the long run. There are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Elevate your legs when possible

 

If you have any of the risk factors for venous stasis ulcers, be sure to talk to your doctor about preventive measures. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best outcome. 

 

If you think you may have a venous stasis ulcer, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. At Center for Advanced Vein Care, our team is here to help you get your life back on track and relieve some of that pain. Schedule a consultation today for more information about our treatment options or to learn how we can help manage your condition.