Dermatology (Skin conditions)

Venous Leg Ulcers

This information applies only to patients diagnosed as having venous leg ulcers

You must elevate (raise) your legs at all times when resting, as shown below. Lying on a couch is the best as you can get your feet up higher than your chest. If you are having an afternoon nap, raise foot of bed or use pillows under your feet This helps reduce swelling (Oedema)

Most Venous leg ulcers can be treated by compression. This means wearing compression bandages toe to knee. This compression assists the muscles in squeezing blood back up through the veins and reducing swelling in the skin. When the ulcer has healed you may be given compression stockings for life, to prevent the ulcer coming back. Put the stockings on before getting out of bed, as your ankles will swell within a short time after getting up.

It is important that you exercise by increasing your daily walking if possible, no matter how slowly. Again this is because walking makes the muscles in your legs squeeze the veins, helping the return of the blood from the legs. As well as walking, ankle exercise when at rest is important and this can be done by rotating the anklefoot to the right then to the left.

Care Of Surrounding Skin
To assist healing and preventing any further damage to the skin it is vital that the skin surrounding the ulcer is kept moist and supple. When it is practical, your leg should be washed as part of your normal washing routine and then moisturising cream applied. This will help prevent the skin from drying out and stop the skin cracking and leading to ulcers.

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