Ulcers are open skin sores that can affect any area of the epidermis. But, they most often occur on the legs due to problems with blood circulation in the veins. Whenever it happens, a huge range of complications may arise. And, thus, it’s difficult to treat this particular health condition. Also, it contributes to prolonged healing time resulting from chronicity found with many Venous Leg Ulcers or VLUs. In addition, one of the most common complications of the disease is ‘Infection’ that can originate from a variety of sources such as Viral, Bacterial, Fungal, and Protozoal.
If a patient’s wound is infected or during the Complication of Venous Ulcers, they may suffer from increasing pain, fever, necrotic tissue, and purulent exudate with or without odour. When symptoms of infection are present, sufferers should be treated with appropriate systematic antibiotics, antiseptic, and topical antimicrobials. Nevertheless, venous ulcers that are critically colonized with bacterial biofilms or bacteria without any sign of systematic infection may be treated in several ways. For instance, aggressive & sequential debridement as well as topical antibiotics.
Complications of Venous Ulcer:
- Cellulitis: It is inflammation and infection of the demis, lymphatic fluid of the epidermis, and subcutaneous tissue which causes the area around it to be warm, red, painful, and tender to the touch. It’s caused by a type of bacterial infection like staphylococcal or streptococcal. It is mainly treated with oral antibiotics.
- Venous Eczema: It can be a precursor to an ulcer and usually persist in varying degrees of severity if this illness is present. Eczema found in a Venous Leg Ulcer may be gravitational, venous, or varicose, or stasis eczema depending upon its relationship with the current or actual cause. To add to your knowledge, it can be chronic or acute. Additionally, mild eczema will be red, swollen, scaly, flaky, or itchy. In most severe cases, the skin may discolour to red or brown and also become tight & tender
- Osteomyelitis and Septicemia: If the infection is left untreated, there’s a risk that it will lead to septicemia or even osteomyelitis which generally needs intravenous antibiotics. And, extreme cases may require amputation.
- Malignancy: It tends to happen when the treatment of health conditions is delayed. And, ulcer persists for a long period. Individuals with malignancy of an ulcer may develop bleeding, tissue necrosis, and worsening pain.
To sum up, differences in VLUs or Venous Leg Ulcers can help identify and differentiate diagnosis for more effective treatment. It tends to be chronic, lasting weeks, months, and years sometimes. And, thus, management of infection and bioburden is significant in moving towards healing & preventing recurrence.