Preventing leg ulcers

leg ulcers


This is probably the least horrible photo I can find of a leg ulcer. Leg ulcers are horrible things, I should know, it took me 18 months to heal the ulcers on my Mother-in-Laws’ legs.  These were dark days for her and myself as her legs were wet, cold and smelly and my lack of ability to make it all ok for her caused me frustration. Preventing leg ulcers is  definitely better than curing them.

Vein problems occur when the valves inside them  veins stop working properly.

In a healthy vein, blood flows towards the heart. Blood is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of valves that open and close to let blood through. If the valves weaken or are damaged, for example, following a deep vein thrombosis, the blood can flow backwards.

This may cause varicose veins visible on the surface of the leg, or the damage may lie in the deep veins. Pressure inside these veins is increased and this can damage the skin.

The constant high blood pressure in the legs causes fluid to leak from the veins. The fluid causes swelling and damages the skin, which becomes hard and inflamed, leading to an ulcer.

People most at risk of developing a venous leg ulcer are those who have previously had an ulcer.

Once a leg has suffered an  ulcer, there is a one in four chance of further ulceration developing within the next two years.

losing weight can help prevent venous leg ulcers because excess weight causes  pressure in the leg veins, which can cause damage to the skin.

If you care for someone elderly washing their legs and then moisturising with a cream such as Diprobase which is available on prescription may help to keep the legs in good order. The motion of washing and moisturising helps to increase circulation to the legs.

Stopping smoking really helps to prevent leg ulcers as smoking causes the blood to be thicker and flow less effectively. Wearing supportive compression socks or tights is also recommended for anyone with varicose veins


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.

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