Seeing ulcers form on your legs can be shocking, especially when they don’t heal. At Advanced Wound Care in Southaven and Senatobia, Mississippi, and West Memphis, Arkansas, Jennifer McKee, FNP-BC, and the rest of the team can evaluate the ulcers on your lower legs to find out if they’re venous or arterial ulcers and treat them accordingly. For more information about venous and arterial ulcers, call Advanced Wound Care or book an appointment online today.
Venous ulcers are open skin sores that form because of poor circulation in the veins in your legs. Your veins are the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood back to your heart after arteries carry it throughout your body.
The veins in your legs must work against gravity to take the blood back to your heart. They do this with a series of valves that open and close to carry blood upward. When valves get damaged or weak, they can no longer adequately carry blood upward. When blood pressure builds up in your legs, venous ulcers begin to form.
Venous ulcers typically form at the bottom of your legs near your ankles. Unlike normal wounds, they’re unlikely to heal by themselves. They often don’t cause any pain but there’s visible redness and swelling around them. The team at Advanced Wound Care can treat your venous ulcers to help them heal.
Arterial ulcers are similar to venous ulcers but form when your arteries can’t deliver enough nutrient-rich blood to the tissues in your legs. When your tissues don’t get enough oxygen from the blood, they begin to die and form open wounds (ulcers) on your ankles or heels or even between your toes.
Like venous ulcers, arterial ulcers are usually round with defined borders. They’re deep and usually don’t bleed. They can be brown, yellow, grey, or even black. The skin around them might look tight, shiny, dry, and generally malnourished.
They’re typically very painful. That pain can get worse with exercise or too much rest, but you can relieve the pain temporarily by dangling your legs to encourage the blood to flow to them.
The team at Advanced Wound Care examines you to determine if you have venous ulcers or arterial ulcers. For arterial ulcers, your treatment can involve:
If you have venous ulcers, your treatment can include:
During treatment, the team at Advanced Wound Care regularly assesses your ulcer and might make changes to your treatment plan if a treatment isn’t working. They start with conservative treatments and will move on to surgery if conservative options don’t heal the ulcer.
For more information about venous and arterial ulcers, call Advanced Wound Care or request an appointment online today.