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Common Symptoms & Causes Of Leg Ulcers

Last updated 6 years ago

Leg ulcers are open and shallow sores on the lower leg that won’t heal and/or that keeps returning. Doctors refer to them as venous leg ulcers when the wound is caused by trauma or disease in the veins.

There are a variety of different risk factors and causes of leg ulcers, such as:

  • Injuries or trauma to the veins or lower leg.
  • Obesity, immobility, or the inability to move properly.
  • Pressure from laying on one side for too long.
  • Vasculitis or inflammation of the blood vessels.
  • Other inflammatory diseases such as lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatological conditions.
  • Poor circulation, often caused by arteriosclerosis.
  • High blood pressure or hypertension.
  • Lymphedema or the swelling of tissue in the leg.
  • Neoplasms or tumors.
  • Medical conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or bowel disorders.

Diabetes, renal (kidney) failure, genetics, and even certain medications can also contribute to the development of ulcers.

You are also more likely to develop leg ulcers if you have a history of smoking, arthritis in your leg joints, blood clots, heart failure, or previous venous leg ulcers. About 2 in every 1,000 people have a leg ulcer, but as you get older, the chance to develop one increases. Around 20 out of every 1,000 people over 80 have a leg ulcer.

Ulcers can range in size from a penny, to covering the entire lower leg. Other common symptoms of leg ulcers can include any combination of the following:

  • Dry, peeling, or scaly skin
  • Itching
  • Burning Sensation
  • Redness or brown discoloration
  • Rash
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Weeping or oozing

Treatment of venous leg ulcers can vary from topical antibiotics or compression stockings, to direct treatment of the veins.

Patients at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan will be provided state-of-the-art services and remedies for conditions including leg ulcers, varicose veins, and spider veins. Contact us today for more information about our various vein removal and treatment procedures. 


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing medical advice. You should contact your doctor to obtain advice with respect to any particular medical issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create a doctor-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the medical office or any individual doctor or physician.


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