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A venous ulcer occurs when there is a problem with your veins, often in your lower leg, that keeps the blood from flowing correctly. Inefficient venous blood flow is called venous insufficiency. As fluid and pressure build, blood and other fluids can leak out of your veins and into the surrounding skin, leading to tissue breakdown. Then you need venous skin ulcer treatment from an experienced vein specialist in Manhattan, like Dr. Susan Bard.

Venous stasis ulcers usually occur from untreated venous insufficiency. It can become a chronic condition. It is also referred to as gravitational dermatitis, venous stasis dermatitis or venous eczema. Be vigilant about skin care and any other venous ulcer treatment regimens — such as platelet-rich fibrin matrix (PRFM), a cutting-edge technology that your NYC doctor offers.

Causes of Venous Ulcers

Because many different conditions can cause venous ulcers, describe your symptoms fully and answer all the questions your vein doctor vein doctor asks. Your responses help her make an accurate diagnosis. Causes of a venous ulcer include:

  • Poor circulation
  • Sitting or standing for long periods
  • Too little exercise
  • Vein wall or valve damage, which signals venous insufficiency
  • High blood pressure
  • Varicose veins
  • Being overweight
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Previous blood clot, especially in your leg
  • Past surgery or injury to the area
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart conditions such as congestive heart failure

Symptoms That May Warrant Venous Skin Ulcer Treatment

Most poor circulation problems have similar symptoms. These can range in severity from mildly uncomfortable to extremely painful. For example, seek venous ulcer treatment if you notice:

  • The skin around or above your ankle appearing reddish, yellowish or brownish
  • Appearance of varicose veins
  • Itching
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand and better when your legs are elevated
  • Sores that ooze, crust or look scaly
  • Thickened skin around ankles or shins
  • Hair loss on ankles or shins
  • Swelling in your legs that often goes down when you sleep
  • Bumpy or cobblestone appearance on the skin around your ankles

Contact your NYC doctor if you are in noticeable pain with redness, open sores or drainage that looks like pus. These symptoms indicate the presence of an infection.

Diagnosis of a Venous Ulcer

Your vein physician in Manhattan performs a thorough physical exam, reviewing the specifics of your symptoms. When reviewing your medical history, be sure to mention if you had a blood clot in the past, an injury to the area, heart disease or past surgeries.

Additionally, your doctor may request other tests, such as:

  • Blood work to rule out a heart condition
  • Doppler ultrasound to check the speed and direction of the blood flow in your veins and to see if you have any current blood clots

Venous Stasis Ulcer Treatments

Self-care and lifestyle changes are part of venous skin ulcer treatment plans to keep venous stasis ulcers from progressing to more serious complications. The objective is to improve circulation in your legs as quickly as possible. Your doctor may prescribe any combination of the following, always starting with the most conservative first:

  • Frequent breaks so you do not stand or sit too long
  • Regular exercise
  • Comfortable, cotton clothing and supportive shoes
  • Taking care of your skin
  • Drying lotions such as calamine
  • Lanolin to spread across crusted areas
  • Steroids for pain, redness or swelling
  • Benzocaine or other topical numbing products to reduce pain
  • Antihistamines for itching
  • Treating open wounds with medicated dressings
  • Fragrance and dye-free moisturizers
  • Oral or cream antibiotics for infections

More extensive treatments for varicose veins may also be required. Some proven treatments include:

  • Laser or radiofrequency therapies that heat your veins, causing them to collapse
  • Sclerotherapy that involves injections of highly concentrated saline solution or other vein-scarring liquid
  • PRFM, a state-of-the-art treatment for skin ulcers that relies on blood platelets from your own body for healing ulcers. It is an in-office procedure with exceptional results, after which you can return to work the same day.

Prognosis Following Venous Stasis Ulcer Treatment

Venous ulcers can be a long-term, chronic condition. If you do not follow the prescribed venous skin ulcer treatment from your vein specialist at Vein Clinic in NYC, complications are very real possibilities. You may end up with bacterial skin infections, infections of the bone and permanent scarring. Any infection, if left unchecked, has the potential for life-debilitating conditions or even death.

Your prognosis is excellent when you follow your doctor’s directions. When you undergo PRFM treatments, you do not even face consequences of allergic reactions or the effects sometimes associated with foreign substances. Contact your New York City vein specialist for an appointment and check-up.