Ankle ulcers are described as open sores or lesions that slowly heals or keep recurring. An ulcer occurs due to the breakdown of skin tissue and can be painful. The venous stasis ulcers are the most prevalent form of ankle ulcers.
What are the causes?
The venous stasis ankle ulcers are generally caused by chronic venous insufficiency. The blood does not flow from the inferior region of the legs to the heart normally and results to the accumulation of pressure inside the veins. The extra pressure can result to skin ulceration which typically form on the inside of the legs, right above the ankle.
What are the signs?
The ankle ulcers are not always painful but might slightly itch or burn. In most cases, they are reddened with yellowish skin over them.
If the ulcer is infected, it might drain yellowish or greenish fluid. The skin might also feel warm to the touch and the area adjacent the ulcer might be swollen and discolored. The legs might ache and depending on the degree of swelling, the skin feels taut and has a shiny appearance.
Management of ankle ulcers
The main objective in treatment venous stasis ankle ulcers is to promote healing of the wound, treating any infection and alleviating the pain.
Compression therapy to relieve the swelling is commonly used for the ankle ulcers. The compression helps hasten the healing and helps in preventing the formation of recurrent ulcers. Compression wraps or stocking and an elastic bandage on the ankle covering the leg all the way to the knee is beneficial.
Drugs might be prescribed by the doctor such as aspirin or pentoxifylline if compression treatment is not effective. These medications can successfully manage ankle ulcers. Diuretics are also taken for a brief span of time if the swelling is significant. The individual should take the prescribed drugs as instructed.
Other measures to bear in mind include:
- Make sure that the ankle ulcers are kept clean
- Change dressings regularly to promote healing
- Increase the intake of fluids
- Stick with a healthy diet
- Adequate rest
- Regular exercise
Remember that good overall health can hasten the healing of ankle ulcers.
Disclaimer / More Information
The information posted on this page on ankle ulcers is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly care for ankle ulcers, register for first aid training at one of our training centers located throughout Canada. The training centers are in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Victoria, Surrey, Mississauga, Winnipeg, Red Deer, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax.