What are Venous Insufficiency Wounds?
Venous insufficiency occurs when valves in leg veins fail and aren’t effectively returning blood back towards the heart. Because the valves are damaged, blood flows in both directions, causing blood to collect within your leg veins. If not addressed, venous insufficiency creates pressure on the surrounding tissue and skin, leading to pain and swelling. Skin can turn a brown color called brauny edema making it look like you’re wearing a brown sock. If left untreated for a prolonged period of time the back pressure on your veins will prevent the inflow of newly oxygenated blood to the tissue, allowing tissue at the most vulnerable areas to die off. The result is a visible open sore called venous stasis ulcer, and can become infected if not treated.
Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency Wounds
Early signs of venous stasis include itching, discoloration, and tingling, along with your skin looking dry and thin. If not treated your skin may harden and turn a dark red, purple and brown color. You may also experience swelling, cramping and heaviness in your legs, especially when standing. As your skin breaks down an open wound or ulcer forms and fluid may seep out.
Causes and risk factors of Venous Insufficiency Wounds
Leading causes of venous insufficiency include Phlebitis, a history of Deep Vein Thrombosis (deep vein blood clot), smoking, cancer, and high blood pressure (in the leg veins). It’s also more commonly seen in females, older adults, pregnant, over weight, tall, family history of this condition, inactivity, muscle weakness, and standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time.