Vascular ulcers are chronic, or long term, breaches in the skin caused by problems with the vascular system, the circulatory system. These ulcers have the potential to be dangerous. They may not heal normally and can lead to an increased risk of infection.
There are 2 types of vascular ulcers:
- Arterial ulcers
- Venous ulcers
Blocked arteries are common causes of arterial ulcers. The overlying skin and tissues are then deprived of oxygen, killing these tissues and causing the area to form an open wound. As the incidence of arterial insufficiency increases with age, arterial ulcers are more common in the elderly. The most common causes of arterial ulcers are vasculitis and diabetes mellitus.
Arterial ulcer appearance
- Typically does not bleed
- Deep, often extending down to the underlying tendons
- Very painful
- Deep and painful
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