What are Skin Ulcers?
An ulcer is basically a sore on the skin or on the mucous membrane which occurs due to the decomposition of tissues. A clear infection induced by poor flow of blood, pressure or injury is considered as a skin ulcer. It is more likely an open, round area on the skin which is usually painful. It could be because of the absence of motion, which causes pressure on the tissues which lasts long. Efficient flow of blood is important for the proper healing of the wound. But during minor injuries, blood flow becomes disturbed in that area and could possibly lead to skin ulcer with the passage of time. It is recommended that skin ulcers must be treated quickly and properly otherwise there are strong chances of its transportation to other parts of the body. Watch more: BioFlex Laser.
For a proper treatment of any type of injury, the blood flow of patient needs to be very healthy and normal because if blood is not circulating in your whole body normally then these types of acute injuries will take a lot of time to get healed and might lead to severe problems such as Skin ulcer.
It usually takes longer to recover from a skin ulcer. It can cause infection and other medical diseases if left unattended because ulcer itself is a chronic problem and infection in the area affected by ulcer could cause it to spread in the whole body which is very lethal and life-taking.
All areas of skin are susceptible to an ulcer. They are specifically frequent on the legs, mouth or lips, hips and bottom but that is based solely on the type of skin ulcer. In most of the cases, Ulcer affects legs. The number of people suffering from leg ulcer ranges from 3 in 1000 people. But apart from legs; feet, back, and hips are also target areas of ulcer. Whereas old people usually have skin ulcer.
CAUSES OF SKIN ULCER
From poor blood flow to diabetics and bacterial infections, there are many causes of skin ulcer.
People may confuse skin ulcer with skin irritation but as the time passes, tissues of skin start decomposing thus causing a prominent wound. Since the main cause of a skin ulcer is poor circulation of blood so here are a few disorders which lead to poor circulation of blood.
- Venous insufficiency (when veins are unable to supply blood from the legs to the heart).
Risk Factors for Skin Ulcers
People having the following factors are more prone to skin ulcers that the one not having them.
- Smoke Cigarette
- Restricted Movement
- Getting older
- High blood pressure
- High levels of cholesterol
- Blood clots history
Skin ulcers are mostly small wounds on the skin and are round and open sores. In the early stages, ulcers look red on skin but if you do not have a fair skin colour then it may look shiny or blue, in later stages ulcer causes the release of clear fluid from skin. Ulcers are mostly intense injuries that go deep into the skin and it goes through muscle tissue, leaving bones and joints present un-shielded.
- Skin discolouration
- Eschar (dead tissues)
- Inflammation of skin near the infected area
- Scaly skin around the ulcer
- Soreness close to the ulcer area
- Release of bloody pus from an infected area
- Bad odor
- Loss of hair near the infection.
TYPES OF SKIN ULCERS
Skin ulcer has many types each one having different causes and symptoms. These types are:
Venous skin ulcers.
A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don’t return the blood back toward the heart the way they should. This is called venous insufficiency. The first sign of a venous skin ulcer is skin that turns dark red or purple over the area where the blood is leaking out of the vein. The skin also may become thick, dry, and itchy. Without treatment, an ulcer may form. The ulcer may be painful. You also may have swollen and achy legs. If the wound becomes infected, the infection may cause an odour, and pus may drain from the wound. The area around the wound also may be more tender and red.
These ulcers usually form on the sides of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the calf. (Please watch: BioFlex Laser Therapy). A venous skin ulcer is mainly due to dysfunction of blood circulation which occurs due to impairment of valves inside veins of legs stopping blood from going back to the heart. Blood causes clump in the lower leg making it swell and this swelling causes ulcers due to the pressure which it puts. Venous skin ulcers are responsible for almost 80-90% of all leg ulcers.
Arterial skin ulcers:
Arterial ulcers also referred to as ischemic ulcers, are caused by poor perfusion (delivery of nutrient-rich blood) to the lower limbs. In this type, the poor flow of blood is caused by blocked arteries. Without a proper supply of oxygen, tissues start to die, ultimately causing ulcer. Arterial ulcers are characterized by a punched-out look is usually round in shape, with well-defined, even wound margins.
This type of ulcer is more evident on the outer surface of the ankle, toes, lower leg, heels, and feet. The base of the wound typically does not bleed and is yellow, brown, grey or black in colour. Immobility of the infected area causes pain mostly during the night or when there is no movement.
Neuro-pathic skin ulcers:
Neuro-pathic ulcers form as a result of peripheral neuro-pathy, typically in diabetic patients. Local paresthesias, or lack of sensation, over pressure points on the foot leads to extended microtrauma, breakdown of overlying tissue, and eventual ulceration. In addition, neuropathy can result in minor scrapes or cuts failing to be properly treated and eventually developing into ulcers. Also, watch BioFlex Laser Therapy.
Because it is caused due to nerve damage so the person may not feel the pain but may experience a particular odor. Diabetic patients are more affected by this kind of ulcer. It is also known as neuro-pathy and is responsible for almost 60-70 % of people with diabetes. Small injuries such as small cuts or blisters aggravate neuropathic skin ulcers. Patients having neuropathy affiliated with diabetics may not realize the existence of this ulcer until they experience leakage of fluid having a distinct odor.
A bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans is responsible for Buruli ulcer. The early stage of the infection is characterised by a painless nodule or area of swelling. This nodule can turn into an ulcer. The ulcer may be larger inside than at the surface of the skin, and can be surrounded by swelling. As the disease worsens, bone can be infected. Target areas are mainly arms and legs. If left unattended or if not treated properly this ulcer may lead to permanent physical disability.
Bedsores or Pressure Ulcers:
This occurs as a result of prolonged pressure or skin abrasion. It is also called Decubitus ulcers (also watch: BioFlex Laser). Increase in a normal amount of pressure (30-32 mm of mercury)c causes poor blood flow and ultimately ulcers. If prolonged it can cause tendons, ligaments and muscle tissues impairment.
This type of ulcer is caused by swelling, leg ulcer and skin displeasure. It is also known as gravitational dermatitis. It is mainly caused by poor blood flow which leads to fluid escalation or buildup. Women are more prone to stasis dermatitis than more after the age of 50.
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