Skip to Content
A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound caused by venous
insufficiency, a condition in which the valves in the blood vessels are damaged
and allow some blood to back up in the veins. The slowed circulation causes
fluid to seep out of the overfilled veins into surrounding tissues, causing
tissue breakdown and ulcers.
Venous skin ulcers, also called stasis leg ulcers, typically
develop on either side of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the
The first sign of a skin ulcer is an affected area of skin that
turns dark red or purple. It may also become thickened and dry and itchy.
Without treatment, an open wound (ulcer) may form. Venous skin ulcers often
weep clear fluid and are covered with yellowish film.
The most effective treatment for venous skin ulcers is frequent
elevation of the legs above the level of the heart and use of compression
stockings during waking hours.
Current as of:
June 4, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Margaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2017 Rush Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)