Venous Stasis - Portneuf Medical Center

Venous Stasis

A venous stasis ulcer, also known as a venous insufficiency ulcer, means that there is an impairment or lack of venous blood flow to an area of the skin. These ulcers occur in the lower legs, between the knee and the ankle. The most common place for them to develop is around the ankle.

In most cases, there is a change in the color of the skin before it actually opens (ulcerates), like a red spot or a black and blue bruising. Due to the lack of circulation, which provides the essential nutrients for the skin to survive, the skin begins to die in this spot and opens (ulcerates.) These wounds are typically shallow (do not get very deep.) They are often irregular in shape and tend to elongate (like a run in stockings.) Left untreated, they do not get better and will get worse.

Gravity works well at getting the blood down to the feet, but when it comes to getting the blood back up the leg towards the knee and thigh, the ankle area becomes most vulnerable. The blood is pushed up the veins when your heart pumps and by your blood pressure. When it can’t make it upwards, it pools and collects in the veins, expanding them like a small balloon. The valves in the veins can’t open and close properly due to this distention. Tissues inside the skin depend upon the circulatory system to bring nutrients, (like oxygen) and to remove waste products from the cells. When the circulation reduces the tissues discolor, devitalize and die. This causes an opening in the skin called ulceration.

Once an ulcer has developed, statistics show that another one will develop within 3-5 years. You know that preventing ulcers is well worth the effort if you have experienced the pain and frustration associated with healing wounds. Many patients will continue to wear some type of compression stocking every day while they are on their feet to help the circulation. While a Venous Stasis ulcer may have healed the poor circulation which caused the ulcer has not been corrected. Use Amerigel® Care Lotion on your lower legs, particularly around the ankles daily. This helps the skin retain its natural moisture, promoting healthier skin that is less prone to problems.

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