When you think of ulcers, you probably think of painful sores that appear on the lining of the stomach, prompting you to treat them with antacids or ask your physician to step in. Stomach ulcers are common, but so are venous ulcers, which usually occur on the legs and feet.
While stomach ulcers can be painful, venous ulcers can also be painful, embarrassing, and cause for concern. Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, leads our team of specialists who treat venous ulcers at Premier Vein and Vascular in Tampa and Largo, Florida. Let us create a treatment and prevention plan to keep you and your legs healthy.
What are ulcers?
Ulcers are long-lasting open sores on or in your body. They can appear in your stomach or small intestines, your mouth, on your eyes, and on your skin — including in your genital area, which you should report immediately to your primary care doctor. Ulcers often resolve on their own, but complications from ulcers are possible and common.
Ulcers can affect anyone, but there are risk factors; some people are more likely to develop ulcers than others. There are several different types of ulcers, and all require different treatments if the wound doesn’t heal on its own. Without treatment, ulcers can become infected and lead to serious complications.
Our team at Premier Vein and Vascular specializes in treating ulcers that appear on your legs and feet.
What causes ulcers?
About 80% of leg ulcers are ultimately a complication of varicose veins, but arterial disease and other chronic conditions are also linked to ulcers. Most ulcers can be treated and, in some cases, prevented from recurring. Treatable causes of venous ulcers include:
- Varicose veins, including a family history of varicose veins
- Carrying excess weight, or obesity
- High blood pressure
- A history of blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Advanced age is another risk factor for ulcers, but this is nature taking its course. A reduced ability to move and get enough circulation may be treatable, but that might not be possible in some cases, such as in those who are bedridden. Monitoring for recurring instances of ulcers is essential to keep these individuals healthy.
Can I treat my own ulcers?
Ulcers are typically uncomfortable, but many ulcers are painful. If you have an uncomfortable wound on your leg that doesn’t go away, it’s important that you contact us as soon as possible. With medical treatment and proper self-care, your skin can heal within about four months.
During your appointment at Premier Vein and Vascular, our team develops a treatment plan, which includes cleaning the wound and prescribing medications that assist in healing and relieving pain. You need to care for your ulcer daily.
We give you specific information about how to care for your ulcer and the skin around it. We instruct you on how and how often to change the dressing on your ulcers, with the main daily goal of keeping the area clean and dry.
Take your prescribed medication as directed, make sure to get recommended exercise, and utilize your compression stockings. When sitting, elevate your feet, as this reduces swelling and pain.
The Premier Vein and Vascular team works closely with you to restore your legs and feet to their optimal health. If you’ve noticed painful sores, call us at the location near you, or use our online appointment system to book your consultation today. We can ensure you get the treatment you need to heal.