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Arterial Ulcer - Arterial ulcers result from an inadequate blood supply, which is almost always caused by atherosclerosis, or fatty plaque build-up in the arteries. Cholesterol or other fatty plaques settle in the arteries, which narrow and harden, resulting in poor blood circulation. Even a small scratch may not heal properly due to the compromised blood supply, and can lead to the development of an ulcer.
Diabetic Ulcer - If you have diabetes, you may have an increased risk for developing foot ulcers, or sores. Foot ulcers are the most common reason for hospital stays for people with diabetes. It may take weeks or even several months for your foot ulcers to heal. Diabetic ulcers are often painless.
Foot Ulcers are partly caused by increased pressure on your foot. Be sure to wear shoes that do not put a lot of pressure on your foot, especially where the ulcer is located.
Pressure Ulcer - A pressure ulcer is an area of skin that breaks down when you stay in one position for too long without shifting your weight. This often happens if you use a wheelchair or you are bedridden, even for a short period of time (for example, after surgery or an injury). The constant pressure against the skin reduces the blood supply to that area, and the affected tissue dies.
A pressure ulcer starts as reddened skin but gets progressively worse, forming a blister, then an open sore, and finally a deep dent in your skin. The most common places for pressure ulcers are over bony areas (bones close to the skin) like the elbow, heels, hips, ankles, shoulders, back, and the back of the head.
Venous Ulcer - Venous ulcers are most commonly found in the area above the ankle but can include any area below the knee. The leg may become swollen, causing the skin surrounding the ulcer to become dry, itchy, and sometimes brownish in color. Dermatitis (eczema) may occur.
Venous ulcers are caused by venous reflux. Venous reflux means that the blood flows backward through the circulatory system. When the veins are not working properly, the blood backs up into the superficial veins, increasing pressure and causing the veins to become elongated and dilated. The tissue surrounding those veins no longer receives a good supply of fresh blood, including the infection-fighting white blood cells. As a result, toxins remain in the tissue and the site may become ulcerated.
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