What is an ulcer?
The most common cause of chronic leg ulcers is poor blood circulation in the legs, and they might form due to problems with the arteries or, more commonly with the veins, or to a mixture of both.
The veins in the carry the blood back from the foot towards your heart, against the forces of the gravity. The veins have one-way valves that make sure the blood flows only in one direction – up the legs. In some people, these valves are not very efficient or they can be weakened or damaged by the formation of clots in the veins.
If the valves don’t work properly, blood can flow the wrong way down the veins, resulting in a very high pressure in the veins when standing up. This abnormally high pressure in the veins damages the skin and leads to the ulcers.
Most chronic leg ulcers heal within three to four months if they’re treated by a healthcare professional. However, some ulcers may take longer to heal, and a very small number never heal.