Why Do I Have Leg Ulcers?
Acute wounds heal under normal circumstances. Wounds fail to heal and become chronic when healing is physiologically compromised. The necessary components for proper healing are the following:
- Good vascularization
- Absence of necrotic tissue
- Remaining moist
Causes of Leg Ulcers
- Diabetes complicated by peripheral vascular disease (arterial and venous) and neuropathy
- Non-diabetic peripheral arterial disease
- Non-diabetic chronic venous disease
- Non-diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Smoking, which introduces vasoconstriction in the process and other atherosclerotic conditions such as hypertension only augment the ongoing devitalization of tissue. Trauma can be an external cause of leg ulcers.
Less common causes include infection, vasculitis, malignancy, drugs, and spider bites.
The foundation for all healthy tissue is a good blood supply. Diabetes and peripheral vascular disease impact vital tissues and nerves negatively due to compromise in blood supply and the resulting hypoperfusion, with the hypoxia, neuropathy, and necrosis of tissue that follow.
Tissue breakdown manifests as ulceration.