Leg Ulcers (Stasis Dermatitis)

A very common cause of skin break down around the ankles and lower legs often due to obvious or alternatively, hidden, varicose veins.

A very common cause of skin break down around the ankles and lower legs often due to obvious or alternatively, hidden, varicose veins.

Varicose veins (medically termed stasis or venous insufficiency) can lead to pressure changes in the surface of the overlying skin which eventually leads to stasis dermatitis. Stasis dermatitis refers to inflammation of the skin to the point where skin break or infection can occur and this can lead to leg ulceration.

This ulceration can be extremely difficult to treat and very resistant. Specialised nursing assessments taking pressure readings off the arteries and veins can lead to the suggestion of specialised nursing dressings to put the leg under pressure which then allows the skin to heal. This is a specialised area of nursing and dermatological care.

Before writing leg ulcers off as a lifelong problem, it is important to consider other disorders which can mimic leg ulcers, using 'consult the specialist' might give a different perspective and is always worth considering.

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