A stasis ulcer occurs when your skin breaks down due to fluid buildup in your lower legs. The breakdown of the skin is in the form of an ulcer and is usually caused by poor vein function. If you experience an open wound on your leg, you should seek medical help right away. You may experience other symptoms such as pain, redness, or even pus-like drainage. Open sores are hotbeds for infection, so seeing a medical professional as soon as possible is necessary.
What Causes a Stasis Ulcer?
A stasis ulcer is often the result of stasis dermatitis. Stasis dermatitis is skin inflammation caused by those who have poor circulation. You will most likely see the condition develop on the lower part of the leg, as that is where blood usually collects. When the blood collects in your lower legs, it can cause pressure on your veins. The pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your leg, allowing proteins from your blood to leak into your skin tissue. The leakage causes a buildup in your leg, which results in swelling and can often lead to a stasis ulcer.
While it’s clear that stasis dermatitis can cause a stasis ulcer, understanding the causes of stasis dermatitis is integral to getting to the root of the problem. While poor circulation is often the most common cause of the condition, there are others as well. Poor circulation is caused by long-term venous insufficiency. This occurs when your veins struggle to get blood back up to your heart. Your legs have one-way valves that ensure that blood is headed towards your heart. When those weaken, they can allow blood to go back down towards your feet. This results in your blood pooling around your lower legs and not getting back to your heart. This is when the pressure is too great and can lead to stasis dermatitis.
Also, there are a few other factors that may cause stasis dermatitis, which include the following:
- Varicose veins
- Congestive heart failure
- Surgery, such as leg vein or bypass surgery
- Deep vein thrombosis in the leg
- Traumatic injury in the lower leg
Risk Factors for Stasis Ulcers
Approximately half a million Americans suffer from stasis ulcers. Below you will find the risk factors that can lead to a stasis ulcer.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to have a stasis ulcer.
- Weight: Those who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk.
- Injury or Trauma: A leg injury can affect the blood flow in your leg veins, which can lead to an ulcer.
Those who have varicose veins or blood clots in the leg are also at a higher risk.
Signs and Symptoms of a Stasis Ulcer
A stasis ulcer is a crater-like wound where your skin becomes open and painful. You will also notice additional symptoms that should alert you that you have a stasis ulcer. Some of the symptoms include leg swelling, brown discoloration, and red, rough, and itchy skin. You may also experience hard, tender lumps under your skin near the ulcer. If you experience these symptoms in addition to the wound, it’s time to see a medical professional.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Depending on the vein condition you have, a doctor can examine your leg and provide treatment options that are right for you. If you have venous insufficiency, it could be due to several different conditions. Below are some of the common diagnoses related to venous insufficiency.
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Blood clots
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Superficial venous thrombosis
- Varicose and spider veins
The Madyoon Method blends the latest technologies to identify the source of any venous insufficiency, including the use of an MRI and CT scan. The treatment for your condition will depend on the doctor’s recommendation specifically for you, but radiofrequency ablation can often help with many vein issues.
Vein Experts in Beverly Hills
If you are concerned and think you may have a stasis ulcer or issues with your veins, contact a professional. The experts at Beverly Hills Vein Center are the most trusted vein specialists in Beverly Hills. Dr. Madyoon is the number one specialist in Beverly Hills when it comes to his expertise in veins. Contact Dr. Madyoon today for an appointment!