Venous Leg Ulcers

Venous leg ulcers occur when there is a problem with blood circulation in the veins after a leg injury. The pressure in the veins of the leg increases and starts to damage the blood vessels in the skin. This makes the skin susceptible to damage and an ulcer can form[1].  A venous leg ulcer is the most common type of leg ulcer[2].

Risk Factors for Venous Leg Ulcers

  • Obesity
  • Difficulty walking
  • Previous Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Varicose veins
  • Previous leg injury
  • Previous leg surgery
  • Increasing age

Treatment for Venous Leg Ulcers

Typically venous leg ulcers heal within 3 to 4 months of treatment. Some ulcers may take longer to heal, or never heal[3]. A typical treatment plan involves cleaning and dressing the wound and improving circulation in the legs by using compression.

It is important that the underlying cause of the ulcer is treated or there is a higher risk for the venous leg ulcer to reoccur.

Leg ulcers are associated with an aging population. A recent study showed that 1% of the population experienced one venous leg ulcer during a lifetime with a higher incidence rate in the elderly[4]. It is important to continue research into effective treatments for venous leg ulcers as the prevalence is expected to grow.


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