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Varicose Ulcers

Clinical Overview

Reviewed by Brian R. Robinson, MD

Varicose ulcers are open wounds occurring below the knee that will not heal due to venous pump failure. Symptoms of varicose ulcers include a large, red, non-healing wound in a swollen leg. These ulcers most often affect older people with varicose veins.

When patients suffer from vascular insufficiency, a number of troubling symptoms and vulnerabilities may arise, including but not limited to blood clots, vein rupture, improper circulation, and dangerous blockages called emboli, which occur when a piece of a larger clot breaks off and becomes lodged in a smaller area of the circulatory system, blocking blood flow to the area.

Another risk of vascular insufficiency is varicose ulcers. These occur when insufficient blood flow or circulation prevents a cut, scrape, or other wound from healing as it should, and the skin dies off, creating a larger, circular wound with a weeping center and discoloration at its borders.

Last updated: Jan-01-00

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