What is a Venous Skin Ulcer?

A venous leg ulcer is an open sore that develops in areas of the body where blood flow has been blocked or reversed due to poor vein function. Typically these ulcers occur on the legs, where the blood is most prone to pooling.

A woman wrapping her venous leg ulcer wounds

What is a Venous Skin Ulcer?

A venous leg ulcer is an open sore that develops in areas of the body where blood flow has been blocked or reversed due to poor vein function. Typically these ulcers occur on the legs, where the blood is most prone to pooling.

What Causes Leg Ulcers?

These venous ulcers, or stasis ulcers, develop when the leg veins fail to pump blood back up to the heart for reoxygenation. Which is what we call, venous insufficiency. 

The veins in your body have valves that open one way to allow blood to flow back to the heart. However, age and other factors influence how well the valves function over time.

When the valves break down, the blood begins to pool, and then the veins begin to leak fluid into the surrounding tissue. This fluid will begin to break down the tissue and will cause ulcers to form. 

Diabetes can also cause ulcers and sores on the legs, but the causes are much different from vascular causes.

Why Do My Legs Look Discolored?

Leg discoloration is another symptom of venous insufficiency. It can also be caused by diabetes, but here we will focus on discoloration from venous conditions.

What Are The Symptoms of Leg Discoloration?

  1. Skin discoloration on the lower legs with red, brown, or yellow splotches
  2. Itching
  3. Throbbing
  4. Scaling
  5. Crusty Sores or oozing ulcers
  6. Loss of hair on the feet, ankles, and shins
  7. Thick, leathery skin
  8. Noticeable varicose veins or spider veins
  9. Swelling in the legs and ankles

Symptoms of Leg Ulcers

  1. Pain and swelling in the legs and ankles
  2. Tightness in the calves
  3. Itchiness and pain in the legs
  4. Pain that occurs only when walking, but stops when resting
  5. Brown skin discoloration around the ankles
  6. Varicose veins
  7. Spider veins
  8. Leg sores that refuse to heal
  9. Restless legs
  10. Leg cramps and muscle spasms

What Causes Skin Discoloration and Leg Ulcers?

Leg discoloration and venous stasis ulcers are both outward signs of an inward problem. Specifically, they are the outward manifestation of vascular disease. The cause of your vein malfunction could be venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or it could be due to poor circulation 

This is typically the same condition that causes varicose veins and spider veins.

Factors That Affect Vein Health

The following health factors are known to affect your risk for developing vascular disease, leg ulcers, and leg discoloration.

  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Sedentary lifestyle or are immobile for long periods of time
  • Blood clots
  • High blood pressure
  • Existing heart conditions
  • Kidney failure
  • Previous surgeries or traumatic injuries in the affected area
  • Frequent alcohol use
  • Using tobacco products
  • Genetics
  • Poor diet

Diagnosing Leg Ulcers and Skin Discoloration

At Vein Solutions Flint and Vein Solutions Lapeer, we offer free vein screenings to assess the overall condition of our patients. 

Related: Free Vein Screening

After your screening, your doctor may recommend getting a venous duplex ultrasound test to thoroughly examine your veins. Since the cause of leg ulcers and leg discoloration is deeper than a surface issue, an ultrasound will help your doctor clearly identify the source of your vein health problems.

Related: Discover Your Venous Conditions Using an Ultrasound Exam

Venous Leg Ulcer Treatment

Treatment for venous ulcers focuses on improving your circulation. This can be done one of several ways.

At Home Care

To help you take care of leg ulcers and venous discoloration we recommend the following at-home care treatments.

  • Elevating your legs to improve circulation
  • Cleaning the wound to prevent infection
  • Wearing prescription compression stockings to reduce blood pooling
  • Avoid heavy exercise
  • Use antibiotic ointments

Other Vein Ulcer Treatments

Compression therapy is the gold standard for venous ulcers. Our vein experts, depending on your condition, may also prescribe wound care, wound dressing, antibiotics, aspirin, or circulation medication.

Minimally invasive surgical treatments may also be recommended depending on your condition. 

  • Microphlebectomy to remove diseased veins
  • Vein ablation to seal diseased veins
Microphlebectomy
Venous Ablation
Patient consulting with a vascular surgery specialist about leg discoloration symptoms

Diagnosing Leg Ulcers and Skin Discoloration

At Vein Solutions Flint and Vein Solutions Lapeer, we offer free vein screenings to assess the overall condition of our patients. 

Related: Free Vein Screening

After your screening, your doctor may recommend getting a venous duplex ultrasound test to thoroughly examine your veins. Since the cause of leg ulcers and leg discoloration is deeper than a surface issue, an ultrasound will help your doctor clearly identify the source of your vein health problems.

Related: Discover Your Venous Conditions Using an Ultrasound Exam

Venous Leg Ulcer Treatment

Treatment for venous ulcers focuses on improving your circulation. This can be done one of several ways.

At Home Care

To help you take care of leg ulcers and venous discoloration we recommend the following at-home care treatments.

  • Elevating your legs to improve circulation
  • Cleaning the wound to prevent infection
  • Wearing prescription compression stockings to reduce blood pooling
  • Avoid heavy exercise
  • Use antibiotic ointments

Other Vein Ulcer Treatments

Compression therapy is the gold standard for venous ulcers. Our vein experts, depending on your condition, may also prescribe wound care, wound dressing, antibiotics, aspirin, or circulation medication.

Minimally invasive surgical treatments may also be recommended depending on your condition. 

  • Microphlebectomy to remove diseased veins
  • Vein ablation to seal diseased veins
Microphlebectomy
Venous Ablation

Treatment for Venous Skin Ulcers and Leg Discoloration at Vein Solutions Flint & Lapeer, MI

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.
Woman getting vein health consultation from the doctors at VeinSolutions

Treatment for Venous Skin Ulcers and Leg Discoloration at Vein Solutions Flint & Lapeer, MI

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.