A leg ulcer is a long-lasting sore that takes over four weeks to heal. The ulcers typically develop just above the ankle on the inside of the leg. The symptoms of a venous ulcer include itching, pain, and swelling in the affected leg. You might also notice hardened or discolored skin around the ulcer and a foul-smelling discharge.

What causes venous leg ulcers?

The most common type of leg ulcer is the venous leg ulcer, which accounts for over 90% of all cases. Venous leg ulcers can develop following a minor injury where the high pressure in the veins of your legs damages the skin.

You’re more likely to get a venous leg ulcer if you’ve previously had deep vein thrombosis — a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in your body. Other factors that increase your risk of getting a venous leg ulcer include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • A leg injury
  • Obesity
  • Paralysis
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