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Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Treating Ulcers

82948If leg swelling due to chronic venous insufficiency isn’t controlled, an ulcer (open wound) can form. Although ulcers vary in size and shape, they usually appear on the inside of the ankle.

Treating an ulcer

  • Visit your healthcare provider. Ulcers need frequent medical care. Special dressings may be applied. You may be given antibiotics to fight infection.

  • Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as aspirin or pentoxifylline, to help the ulcer heal.

  • Your healthcare provider may prescribe compression hose to help with the swelling. 

  • Elevate your legs often to reduce swelling. The ulcer needs oxygen-rich blood to heal. This blood can’t reach the ulcer until swelling is reduced.

When to call your healthcare provider

Seek immediate medical attention if: 

  • You have an increase in pain.

  • You develop a fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher.

  • The area around the ulcer becomes red and/or tender. 

  • The ulcer oozes discolored fluid or smells bad.

  • Swelling increases suddenly or the dressing feels tight.

 

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