When it comes to lower extremity care, otherwise known as foot and leg wound care, there are two types of wounds that are considered the most common, venous wounds and arterial wounds. In this article we’ll discuss these two wound types and how you can prevent them, and, if they occur, how you can treat them.
What are Venous Wounds?
Venous wounds, also called venous ulcers, occur as the result of improperly working veins. Veins are important because they bring blood from all of your organs and body parts back to your heart. This type of wound occurs when blood is not pumping back to your heart the right way. Most commonly, venous wounds happen right underneath the knee. Additionally, they’re usually found just inside the leg, above the ankle.
Symptoms of Venous Ulcers
The following are symptoms of venous wounds or venous ulcers
- Swelling at the site of the wound
- Aching wound
- Inflamed wound
- Discharge from the wound
- Skin surrounding the wound that is itchy, hard, and brown or black in color
- Scabbing or flaking at the site of the wound
What are Arterial Wounds?
Arterial wounds are just as the name implies. They occur when there are issues with the arteries. Arteries are, of course, the vessels that bring oxygenated blood from your heart to all of your other organs, tissues, and cells, including the brain, stomach, and etc. These wounds or ulcers are generally located on the feet and heels. Other places arterial ulcers are found are in between the toes, at the tip of the toes, and in the nail bed.
Symptoms of Arterial Ulcers
The following are symptoms of arterial wounds or arterial ulcers
- Sores that are yellow, black or red in color
- Deep wounds
- Wounds without blood
- Wounds that are not warm to the touch – in fact, arterial wounds are cool or cold because there is minimal blood circulation
- Pain in the legs at night
What Are the Causes Leg and Foot Ulcers?
Leg and foot ulcers are not only painful, they could also become chronic and lead to other health issues. That’s why understanding the cause of these wounds is important.
Causes of Leg & Foot Ulcers
- Comorbidities like diabetes
- Poor circulation
- Clotting disorders
- Blockages that affect blood flow
- Kidney failure
- Fluid buildup
- Swelling in the legs and foot
- Inflammatory disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Existing infection
In Conclusion: Treatment
What should you do if you have pain, burning, itching or swelling in your legs or feet? This could be a sign of infection or an ulcer. That’s because venous and arterial wounds are caused by irregular circulation and blood flow. Of course, the best course of action is to make an appointment with your doctor or wound care specialist. From that point, your doctor or wound care specialist may send you to a vascular specialist. They will develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better.
The goal of treatment for venous and arterial wounds is:
- Healing the pain of the wound
- Effectively healing the wound in general
- Speeding up the recovery process
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.