Venous ulcers are painful, itchy, swollen areas in your legs that may also be hard or discoloured. The most common cause is high blood pressure in the veins in the legs that causes the skin to deteriorate to the point a sore is created. Initially, you may notice the veins in your legs are more noticeable, and sticking out. Over time, the high blood pressure will cause some of the fluid to leak from the veins, damaging the skin. People who are obese, have mobility issues, or are diabetic are prone to venous ulcers. If you are at risk, there are a few things you should do to prevent the ulcers from forming.
Compression stockings are specially fitted hosiery that is tighter on your feet and then gradually loosen as they go up the leg. They are designed to increase venous flow by keeping the blood from pooling in your feet. They also compress any varicose veins so they will not leak fluid into the skin and cause ulcers. It is best to wear these stockings every day, while you are awake to keep the blood flowing adequately.
Exercise to Lose Weight
Being overweight puts extra pressure on your legs and the veins inside. The best way to lose weight for prevention of venous ulcers is with exercise. While limiting your food intake will help lose weight, exercising not only helps take off the extra pounds, but decreases your blood pressure as well. Lowering your blood pressure reduces your risk for venous ulcers.
Caring for Your Skin
Apply lotion to your legs every day. Any skin that is starting to get hard will be softened. This will not only keep the skin soft and supple, but the act of applying the lotion works to increase the circulation in the veins. While applying the lotion check your legs for any hard or rough areas and any small cuts or abrasions. Use an antiseptic ointment on every small sore to keep it from developing into something bigger.
In addition to the above preventative measures, having regular massages can help increase the blood flow in your legs. The better you take care of your legs, the less likely you are to develop venous ulcers. Once you develop them, you are more likely to have repeat problems. It is best to do all you can to keep from getting one in the first place.