Individuals can prevent venous leg ulcers by encouraging blood flow in the legs and managing any edema, according to Cleveland Clinic. Patients can also wear compression stockings to prevent edema. Patients can also manage edema by elevating their legs above the heart three to four times a day for 30 minutes. Sleeping with legs elevated can also decrease edema.
Some people have conditions that preclude compression treatments to manage edema, notes the Cleveland Clinic. In these cases, doctors use prescription medication to manage edema that could cause a venous leg ulcer, notes the Cleveland Clinic. They may also prescribe diuretics if there is a short-term problem with severe edema.
Individuals can also manage certain risk factors to decrease their chance of developing venous leg ulcers, explains WebMD. Changeable risk factors include obesity, smoking, lack of exercise and standing for long periods each day. Blood clots in the leg also increase the risk of venous leg ulcers.
Venous leg ulcers occur when blood pools within the blood vessels and leaks into the surrounding tissue, according to WebMD. The blood damages the surrounding tissue, which allows a leg ulcer to form. Once an individual has an ulcer, common treatment recommendation include daily walks, leg elevation and compression stockings. Persistent venous leg ulcers may require undergoing a skin graft or taking antibiotics in order for them to heal. A doctor may recommend surgery on veins to prevent the likelihood of another venous leg ulcer from forming.