Skin Ulcers Specialist

Skin ulcers often develop due to poor circulation and other vein problems. Thankfully, Extremity Wound Centers specializes in the treatment and care of skin ulcers. Patients can receive this critical care from our practice locations available in Peoria and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Skin Ulcers Q & A

What is a skin ulcer?

A skin ulcer is an open wound on the skin. It can be caused by infections, pressure sores, or by vein problems. Treatments will depend on the cause and location of the ulcer. The most common type, venous skin ulcers, are shallow wounds which occur when the leg veins do not return blood back to the heart properly. These ulcers usually form below the knee.

What causes a skin ulcer?

Venous skin ulcers are caused by inadequate blood circulation. In venous insufficiency, the valves have been damaged and blood is now backing up and pooling inside the vein. Fluid can then leak out and into the surrounding tissues, resulting in the breakdown of the tissue and formation of an ulcer. Those with increased risk of these ulcers include:

  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity and movement

What are other types of skin ulcers?

In addition to venous skin ulcers, other types that can occur include:

  • Arterial skin ulcers: These ulcers can be very painful, and are typically found on the feet and toes
  • Neuropathic skin ulcers or diabetic neuropathic ulcers: these often develop in those who have little or no feeling in the feet due to diabetic nerve damage

How are these ulcers treated?

Conservative treatments include improving blood circulation:

  • Lifting the legs above the heart level frequently
  • Wearing compression stockings or bandages to prevent blood from pooling in the legs
  • Walking daily to improve blood circulation

The physician will perform a debridement to excise dead tissue from the wound. After the ulcer has healed, compression socks should still be worn, removed for bathing and sleeping. Additional treatments, if required, may include:

  • Medication to hasten to heal or for an infection such as antibiotics
  • Skin grafting, for deep or hard-to-heal ulcers
  • Vein surgery, which can keep ulcers from returning

Insurance

Extremity Health Center accepts the following insurances. Please contact the office for further information.

Aetna
Cigna
Coventry
Humana
Humana ChoiceCare Network PPO
Medicare B
United Healthcare
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