Q:

What causes leg ulcers to appear?

A:

Quick Answer

Some causes of leg ulcers are venous disease, arterial problems and other medical conditions, according to WebMD. When veins in the leg are not working properly, this is most often due to faulty valves that leads to increased pressure inside the veins. This can cause skin damage and leg sores called venous stasis ulcers.

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Full Answer

Venous stasis ulcers are related to venous problems. People most affected with this type of ulcer often have a history of medical problems such as varicose veins, leg inflammation, or blood clots. These ulcers are the most common type of leg ulcers seen in patients in the United States on a yearly basis. Approximately 80 to 90 percent of all leg ulcers are venous ulcers, states the Cleveland Clinic.

Ulcers can also be related to problems that affect arteries of the legs. Arterial disease can be the result of a blockage or obstruction in an artery. For example, atherosclerosis can cause this type of ulcer, also called an ischemic ulcer. Nearly 15 percent of all leg ulcers are arterial or ischemic ulcers, reports WebMD.

Many leg ulcers are linked to underlying conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleoderma, infections, hypertension and heart problems, explains the Cleveland Clinic.

Leg ulcers occur, when there is a break in the skin that leads to a wound or open sore that may not heal or keeps reoccurring. Because bacteria can enter the wound, it can cause a complication such as an infection.

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