Venous Leg Ulcer

What is a Venous Leg Ulcer?

A venous leg ulcer is an area of skin which has broken down, usually around the ankle area. They occur because the valves in the deep and superficial veins do not close properly, and are therefore unable to take the blood back to the heart efficiently, which causes high pressure in the veins in the leg.

What treatment will I receive?

Following your assessment, the nurse will apply a compression bandage to your leg(s). Compression will:
  • Reduce leg swelling and help the ulcer to heal
  • Increase the blood flow back up the legs to the heart
  • Increase the function of the calf muscle pump
  • Decrease capacity and pressure in the superficial veins
  • Decrease swelling.

What can I do to aid healing and prevent recurrence?

  • Walking is good for you as it improves blood flow in the legs. Also flex your ankles whilst sitting. Try not to cross your legs, as it slows blood flow.
  • Rest is important. Keep your feet up high when sitting down, and raising the foot of your bed will help blood flow. 
  • Do not stand still for long periods of time. When standing, walk on the spot to help blood flow.
  • Bathe/shower or soak your legs/feet in water. Use frangrance free moisturiser to keep the skin on your leg soft.
  • Try to keep your weight down by eating a good diet.
  • Do not wear tight shoes or clothes, or tight socks and shoes that may restrict your circulation.
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