Want to know more about leg ulcers?


venousVenous leg ulcers generally occur in the 'gaiter' area of the leg, which is the area from the ankle-bone to mid-calf1.

The edges of the ulcer are irregular, with gentle sloping edges and there are usually moderate to heavy levels of exudate and slough present in the wound bed2.

Chronic venous insufficiency can lead to sustained venous hypertension which causes venous leg ulcers. Lower limb blood pooling or oedema are caused by incompetent valves which normally help direct the flow of blood back to the heart but when damaged can fail to function properly2. This results in abnormal blood flow in the legs and puts patients at risk of developing ulcers.


Arterial leg ulcers are most usually found on the toes, heels and bony areas of the foot2, or on areas exposed to repetitive trauma3 or rubbing by footwear.

Arterial ulcers have a 'punched out' appearance with clear edges and minimal levels of exudate. The wound base is generally pale in colour. Tissue necrosis is common. The skin surrounding the wound may appear dusky or reddened, and the skin around the wound is usually cool to the touch2.

Arterial ulcers are the result of reduced blood flow to the legs. The most common cause of this is atherosclerosis. Reduced blood supply leads to tissue being starved of oxygen (hypoxia), which in turn result in tissue damage and ulceration2.



Leg ulcers can be caused by a combination of venous and arterial problems2.

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