Skin ulcers are open sores on the skin caused due to poor blood circulation. A wound heals only if the blood flow is good, but if it is not, small wounds do not heal fast. If a wound does not heal quickly, it may lead to a skin ulcer, due to infection. Skin ulcers are quite harmful as they may spread throughout the body. Such skin ulcers mostly affect the legs. These are more common in the elderly.
What Are The Symptoms Of Skin Ulcers?
A skin ulcer is actually an open sore appearing on the surface of the skin. Its outer border may appear thick and slightly raised. Initially, the sore might just appear as discoloration, but later, it will get darker, often blue in color. It eventually starts looking like a crater and starts oozing out fluid or blood. The common symptoms include swelling, redness, tenderness, pain, itchiness, discoloration, fluid or puss discharge, etc from the affected area.
What Are The Causes Of Skin Ulcers?
These occur when there is an issue with blood circulation within the skin. The main causes can be:
As diabetes causes high blood sugar, over time, this sugar damages the nerves and the person is unable to feel any pain in the legs or feet. High sugar also leads to slow healing. Injuries on the feet and legs may turn into skin ulcers if not treated.
This condition occurs when the arteries narrow down due to fat accumulation. As the arteries become narrow, they are unable to circulate blood properly. When a body part does not receive an adequate amount of blood, the tissue forms a sore, which eventually becomes an ulcer.
- Venous Insufficiency:
This name is given to the condition when the veins in the legs are unable to supply blood to the heart. This blood collects in the legs, leading to swelling. Severe swelling eventually leads to skin ulcers.
There are many cures and treatments:
- Home Remedies:
Mild skin ulcers can be treated at home by simple steps like leg elevation and wearing compression socks. Leg elevation encourages more blood flow to your legs, while compression socks reduce leg swelling. You can also use a saline solution to clean the ulcers. Turmeric is a natural antibiotic and it can help in wound healing. Similarly, you can also use honey for wound healing as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Dressing and Antibiotics:
If the infection is severe, you might have to consult a doctor. He will suggest dressings in the affected area. There are various types of dressings such as moist dressings, hydrogels, collagen wound dressings, etc. Your doctor might also prescribe an antibiotic ointment if the ulcer is infected. Surgery is not required to treat normal ulcers. Usually, large skin sores are treated with a skin graft treatment. You should see a doctor if your condition does not seem to heal within three weeks.