A chronic ulcer is a wound that does not heal properly. Prior to an open wound developing, there are often abnormalities in the leg. There are often varicose veins as well as fluid accumulation in the legs. Brown discolouration and eczema may subsequently develop.

Symptoms and causes

There are several causes for ulcers:

  • trauma: a blow, a fall, after surgery, burn lesion, decubitus
  • venous problems: blood vessels from the leg to the heart (veins) that no longer work properly
  • arterial problems: a blood vessel from the heart to the leg (artery) that is blocked (this is far less common).
  • diabetes
  • bacterial infections
  • medication
  • rare forms of wounds: pyoderma gangrenosum, skin cancer, vasculitis, artefacts, caldciphylaxis...

Diagnosis and treatment

Dr Lien De Smet scrapes a chronic lower leg wound, under local anaesthesia.

You can go to the Dermatology Department for all these wound problems. In case of extensive or chronic wound problems, we offer our specialised wound care consultation. We work with a multidisciplinary team consisting of wound nurses, dermatologists, vascular surgeons, plastic surgeons and orthopaedists.

See also: Wound care consultation.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Dermatology

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Van Autryve Els