Venous ulcers, also known as stasis ulcers, occur as a wound as pressure builds in the leg when venous valves do not function properly. Usually, red or brown skin changes appear on the leg that then progresses to an open wound. Sometimes a minor injury to the leg leads to an opening in the skin which does not heal.
Venous ulcers occur from long-term venous insufficiency when pressure continues to build in the leg. A venous ulcer develops as elements of blood leak from the vein, causing the red inflamed appearance of the skin surrounding the ulcer. Symptoms of venous ulcers include itching, discoloration, redness, or swelling in the affected area. Patients may also experience pain or a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg.
Over time, the venous ulcer will cause the skin to become swollen or crusted in appearance. The area can thicken and harden, causing a rough, scaly, or bumpy appearance. A red or brown color becomes more pronounced. Patients should seek a medical evaluation to treat venous ulcers and prevent further problems and irritation.