Posts Tagged ‘stasis ulcers’

Stasis Ulcers

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

A stasis ulcer is a skin ulcer that develops in an area where the blood circulation is slow-moving and the return of the venous blood toward the heart is poor. A common location for stasis ulcers is on the ankle.

Stasis refers to a stoppage or slowdown in the flow of blood or other bodily fluids such as lymph. ‘Stasis’ is a Greek word meaning, “the posture for standing” and is derived from the Greek “histemi” meaning, “to make stand still.”

Those that suffer from stasis ulcers tend to have medical conditions such as varicose veins or blood clotting. A leg injury can also add to the development of a stasis ulcer, even if it a minor injury. Those who are overweight are more likely to develop these kinds of ulcers and women are more affected than men. Lying or sitting in one spot for long periods of time can also be a contributing factor.

Typically, a stasis ulcer looks like an open sore, and it’s often red or brown in color with irregularly-shaped borders. The area around it may be swollen or discolored and it might be itchy or flaky before the ulcer actually forms. The ulcer may be covered with clear, green, or yellow discharge. If the ulcer gets infected, it can produce a greater amount of discharge. In some cases, hard and sensitive lumps can form under the skin surrounding the ulcer.

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the ulcer. Milder ulcers which resemble small skin cuts or scrapes, can usually be treated at home. For these kinds of ulcers, the skin should first be cleaned with mild soap and water, then coated with petroleum jelly and loosely covered with gauze. Adhesive tape should not be put on the wound because of the possibility of irritation. If a mild ulcer does not heal after a few days of self-care, call your doctor. Painful, swollen, or deep ulcers should be examined by a doctor. A doctor may treat the ulcer with antibiotics to treat the infection and help the healing process. In cases where all other methods have been tried with no positive result, surgery may be required.