Skip to main content

4 Risk Factors of Venous Ulcers You Should Know

4 Risk Factors of Venous Ulcers You Should Know

As you get older, you might find that simple cuts and scrapes on your lower legs take longer to heal. When this delayed healing happens because of increased blood pressure in leg veins, the open sore is called a venous stasis ulcer. Sometimes, the wound can form because of the elevated pressure in veins. 

Leg ulcers may require specialized care to heal. When you encounter venous ulcers or other problems with blood flow in your legs, contact Dr. Clement Banda and the team at MD Vein & Skin Specialists in Columbia, Maryland. 

A leg ulcer expert, Dr. Banda, can diagnose the reasons behind your slow-healing wound. Understanding these reasons may help you respond quickly, should they occur. We’ve listed here 4 of the most common risk factors of venous ulcers you should know. 

Genetic factors

There are some risk factors for venous ulcers that you can’t alter. Women, for instance, suffer from venous ulcers more often than men. Hormonal conditions in women affect the strength and flexibility of vein walls, which also change during pregnancy.

Getting older also causes changes to vein walls, and taller people naturally have longer vein lengths in their legs. Venous blood pressure may be higher because of the effects of gravity on blood trying to move upward. 

Varicose veins

A series of valves within your veins ensure the forward movement of blood back toward the heart and lungs for the resupply of oxygen. As you get older or as health issues affect the walls of veins, they may thin out and stretch, and some valves may no longer close completely. Blood can flow backward and start to pool, placing even more pressure on vein walls. When these veins are close to the skin’s surface, they become visible as twisted, gnarled, and bulging blue or purple varicose veins

In most cases, varicose veins are a cosmetic condition, but when you develop these, your chance of developing venous ulcers climbs. Varicose veins can lead to stasis dermatitis, skin changes caused by leaking venous fluids. These changes may mean that venous ulcers could occur in the future. 

Deep vein thrombosis

The pooling of blood in failing veins can result in clots. These clots can cause aching, pain, and in rare cases, death when a clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, creating a pulmonary embolism. People with deep vein thrombosis or a family history that includes deep vein thrombosis have an elevated risk for venous ulcers. 

Lifestyle conditions

Certain lifestyle factors can increase your chances of slow-healing ulcers. The use of tobacco products produces negative changes in blood vessels. Being overweight adds additional strain to the veins in your legs. People who need to sit or stand for long periods at work miss out on the vital pumping action that movement creates. This compromises blood circulation in the legs, making ulcers more likely. 

Call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Banda and the team at MD Vein & Skin Specialists when you suspect a venous ulcer or other circulation issues. Prompt treatment usually improves your outcome, so don’t delay and schedule your visit now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Heavy, Cramping Legs at Night  — When to See a Doctor

Heavy, Cramping Legs at Night — When to See a Doctor

Nighttime leg cramps can be painful annoyances, but they’re generally harmless. However, if your legs also feel unusually heavy, there could be other reasons behind your leg cramp experience, which could suggest a doctor’s visit is necessary.

Should I Worry That My Ankles Look Swollen?

After a long day on your feet, it's not unusual to notice your ankles are puffy and swollen, a condition known as edema. It may not always be a problem, but there are times when swelling indicates a more serious health issue.
Help! My Mole Has Changed Size and Shape

Help! My Mole Has Changed Size and Shape

Moles are common and usually don’t become cancerous. In rare cases, moles start to change in size, shape, and other characteristics, and this could indicate melanoma, the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer.
What are My Treatment Options for Varicose Veins?

What are My Treatment Options for Varicose Veins?

While the gnarly, twisted appearance of varicose veins may look painful and angry, they’re just a cosmetic issue for most people. However, varicose veins can cause pain and other symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about your treatment options.
Is It Possible to Avoid Skin Cancer?

Is It Possible to Avoid Skin Cancer?

It may not be possible to avoid all skin cancers completely. Some cancerous lesions appear without an obvious reason. However, you can do much to reduce the risk of preventable skin cancers.