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What are venous skin ulcers?

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Venous skin ulcers are skin wounds that result from venous insufficiency, which is a condition in which blood in the leg veins fails to flow back to the heart due to damaged valves, according to WebMD. These wounds are shallow in nature and typically attack the lower leg sides. They are also known as stasis leg ulcers.

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The risk factors of venous ulcers include smoking, obesity, deep vein thrombosis and activities that require prolonged standing, notes WebMD. Venous ulcer patients experience purple or dark red skin, which typically occurs during the preliminary stage of venous skin ulcers. The wounds may also cause itching, pain and a bad smell, and they may contain pus. In some cases, the patient may experiences redness and tenderness around the wound. To prevent the formation of venous ulcers, patients should seek immediate medical care once the first signs appear.

In treating venous skin ulcers, doctors start by enhancing the patient's blood circulation, as WebMD explains. Activities that may boost blood circulation include walking and wearing compression stockings. Debridement, which involves the removal of dead cells from the wounds, promotes wound healing. Once the wounds heal, the patient should maintain proper blood circulation by wearing compression stockings continuously, which also prevents future ulcers. Chronic venous skin ulcers may require antibiotics, skin surgery or skin grafting to heal.

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