A venous leg ulcer is a skin condition in which wounds form and reveal the flesh underneath. This is caused by improper blood flow in the veins. Since they are most common in older people, venous ulcers are a big problem for institutions like nursing homes. Skin ulcers occur mostly around the leg area, particularly just above the ankle. These wounds can become painful and spread if they are not properly cared for by a qualified vein specialist. The discomfort and itchiness associated with venous skin ulcers could be largely avoided with leg elevation.
The Key Benefit of Leg Elevation
To understand why leg elevation is such an effective way of improving venous health in the legs, it’s important to understand how skin ulcers are formed. The essence of the problem is an increase in blood pressure in the veins of the lower leg. This causes secretions, swelling and thickness of the skin around the veins.
When the legs are raised, it can greatly reduce the blood pressure in the veins, leading to a reduction in the severity of the symptoms. If the legs are kept elevated for long enough and on a regular basis, it can help the skin ulcers heal.
Elevation Treatment Procedures
The first step in the leg elevation treatment is to dress the wounds. Compression bandaging can be used to counteract the effects of the high blood pressure in the leg veins. The bandages are usually changed on a weekly basis when the wounds are cleaned.
When the leg is elevated, the idea is to keep it higher than the hip. This will give the leg enough of an angle so that blood can flow more easily from the lower leg back to the heart. Although plenty of rest is needed, some activity is also important. The patient will be encouraged to go for short walks to get the blood flowing.
Leg elevation techniques will be given to the patient by our specialists to practice at home, as well. These involve common everyday situations like keeping your legs raised on the couch when watching television on a bed or a sofa.
Treatments to Aid Leg Elevation
To make the leg elevation treatments more effective, other measures can also be taken. Sometimes antibiotics can be administered and prescribed to fight the infections that might occur from the skin wounds. The goal is to reverse the effects of the skin ulcers as fast as possible before the itching and discomfort turn into pain.
Learn More Today
Located in Edinburg, the South Texas Vein Institute is here to help you every step of the way in maintaining venous health. We offer a variety of conservative treatments, as well as minimally-invasive procedures designed to effectively treat venous problems.
Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about how simple practices like leg elevation can benefit you.