What Are Venous Ulcers?

Venous ulcers are open sores that develop on the lower legs due to poor blood circulation in the veins. They are caused by a condition called venous insufficiency, in which the veins in the legs cannot efficiently return blood to the heart, leading to blood pooling in the legs. This can cause swelling, skin changes, and, eventually, ulcers. Venous ulcers are usually painful and can take a long time to heal.

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Who Gets Venous Ulcers?

Venous ulcers are most commonly found in older adults, typically over the age of 65. They are also more common in women than in men. People with a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, obesity, or a family history of venous insufficiency are also at a higher risk of developing venous ulcers. Other risk factors for venous ulcers include smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In addition, people with a previous venous ulcer are more likely to develop another one in the future.

Symptoms of Venous Ulcers

  • Slow-healing or non-healing wounds
  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles
  • Thickened, discolored, or hardened skin around the wound
  • Itching or burning sensation
  • Drainage or pus from the ulcer
  • A foul odor from the wound
  • Redness or inflammation around the ulcer
  • Aching or cramping in the legs, especially after standing or sitting for long periods

Treatment Options

Compression Therapy

Compression stockings, bandages, or wraps help improve blood flow and reduce leg swelling. Compression therapy is often the first-line treatment for venous ulcers.

Topical Medications

Certain topical medications, such as antibiotics, antifungals, or corticosteroids, may treat infections, inflammation, or other skin conditions associated with venous ulcers.

Endovenous Laser Treatment

Using laser energy to close off the damaged veins can treat the venous ulcer from the source. The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia and involves inserting a small catheter into the affected vein and using laser energy to heat and close the vein.


During sclerotherapy, the damaged veins are injected with a chemical solution to close them off and redirect blood flow to healthier veins. The procedure is typically performed using local anesthesia and may require multiple treatments to achieve the desired results.

Treating the underlying venous disease which is the root cause of venous ulcers is the best way to heal. Options for treating venous disease include Endovenous Radiofrequency Ablation, Endovenous Cyanoacrylate Closure, and Sclerotherapy.

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Are You Concerned About a Venous Ulcer?

When choosing a medical provider for venous ulcer treatment, looking for someone specializing in wound care and venous medicine is essential. Finding someone you trust and feel comfortable working with is one of the most important factors. Dr. Spartz of the Spartz Vein Clinic is a board-certified expert in venous diseases. She has a comforting and warm demeanor that puts her patients at ease. Her expertise shines through as she thoroughly diagnoses and treats your venous ulcer with a compassionate, patient-centered approach. If you have a venous ulcer that concerns you, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with a caring specialist. 

Better skin health starts here. Schedule your appointment today.

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