What are Venous Leg Ulcers and What Causes Them

Venous leg ulcers are one of the most common types of skin ulcers and mainly develop just above the ankle. The skin breaks down revealing the underlying flesh in a sore.

Venous leg ulcers develop when blood pools for prolonged periods in the lower legs. When the valves in the larger leg veins are damaged, or incompetent, gravity causes blood to leak backward. Blood then pools in the legs and fluid can begin to seep under the skin from smaller veins. The thickening and swelling damage the skin integrity and it eventually breaks down into an ulcer.


The skin may itch or burn before an ulcer appears. A rash or brown and discolored skin may also develop. When a sore forms, there is foul-smelling discharge and swelling of the surrounding skin.


Age increases the risk of venous leg ulcers. By the time they reach their 80’s, 20 out of 1,000 people can be affected. Anyone with past varicose veins, blood clots, or leg injuries are at higher risk. Smoking and obesity also increase the chances of venous leg ulcers.


The doctors at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, PA regularly diagnose and treat venous leg ulcers. Doctors use ultrasounds, CT scans, or an MRI to give a detailed map of blood circulation in the leg. Make an appointment at Carolina Heart and Leg Center, PA if suffering from any symptoms or for treatment of an existing ulcer.

If you have venous disease, whether it is varicose veins, a venous ulcer, spider veins, or other concerns, Carolina Heart And Leg Center, P.A. can help. Dr. Saini and his team are highly experienced and knowledgeable in venous disease and care about your overall health and wellbeing. They have many years of expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of venous concerns and pain. Contact us today at (910) 491- 1760 and put your health in good hands.

*Stock photographs and artwork are for illustrative purposes only. **This blog/post contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on this blog/post as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare provider. Please see our full disclaimer at www.CarolinaHeartAndLeg.com