When Should You Seek Medical Help for Venous Ulcerations?
Venous ulcerations can be painful and challenging to deal with, often impacting many aspects of a person’s overall quality of life. Understanding these ulcers, what causes them, and when to seek medical attention is critical when it comes to managing the condition effectively. Here, vein specialist Dr. J. Keith Thompson of Vein Institute Hattiesburg provides an overview of venous ulcerations, including when and why it is important to seek prompt medication attention and care in Hattiesburg, MS.
What is a venous ulceration?
A venous ulceration, sometimes referred to as a venous leg ulcer, is a wound that typically forms on the lower leg, often around the ankle. These ulcers can be painful, cause discomfort, and negatively affect many aspects of a person's daily life — from their comfort to mobility and others. Vein ulcers can vary in size and depth and are typically characterized by red, swollen, and irritated skin around the ulcer.
What causes venous ulcerations?
Venous ulcerations are primarily caused by chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when the veins in the legs do not function correctly, making it challenging for blood to flow back to the heart. The pooled blood in the veins can lead to increased pressure in the lower leg and damage the skin and surrounding tissue, resulting in the development of ulcers.
Are venous ulcers dangerous?
Venous ulcers can be more dangerous than they may appear at first and can often worsen in severity over time. While they may start as small sores, venous ulcers can lead to severe complications if left untreated. These complications can include cellulitis (a skin infection), deep vein thrombosis (blood clot), or even sepsis in severe cases. Early evaluation and treatment are essential to prevent these complications and to effectively manage venous ulcers — meaning, if you have a venous ulcer, don’t hesitate to call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan.
Will venous ulcerations go away on their own?
Venous ulcers typically will not resolve on their own. These ulcers are usually a sign of an underlying condition, chronic venous insufficiency, that needs to be addressed to promote healing. Without proper treatment, venous ulcers can persist and may even worsen over time.
When do I need to see someone for a venous ulcer?
If you have a venous ulcer or suspect you may have one, seeking medical attention promptly is strongly recommended to prevent worsening complications and to help restore your comfort and health. Here are some signs that indicate you should see a healthcare provider for your venous ulcer:
- Open wound that is not healing
- Swelling, particularly in the lower leg, that may be accompanied by pain or discomfort
- Changes in skin color around the ulcer (red or brown, usually)
- Discharge or foul odor from the ulcer
When you visit the Vein Institute Hattiesburg for venous ulcerations, we will work with you to address your wound care needs with our local wound care partners while also recommending treatments and lifestyle modifications that can help to treat and manage your underlying venous insufficiency.
What can I do to prevent recurrent venous ulcerations?
Once you have experienced a venous ulcer, you may be at elevated risk for recurrence. To reduce this risk and promote overall venous health, consider the following preventive measures
- Wear compression stockings
- Elevate your legs
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy, stable weight
- Practice proper wound care as instructed
Don’t ignore your venous ulcers. Get the comfort and relief you deserve with advanced vein care in Hattiesburg, MS
Even if your venous ulcers aren’t causing disruptive symptoms yet, they will likely worsen if left untreated and can lead to severe pain and more serious health complications. If you suspect or know that you have venous ulcers, call Vein Institute Hattiesburg to schedule your consultation and evaluation with Hattiesburg, MS, vein specialist Dr. J. Keith Thompson, and start your journey toward restored health and comfort today.