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Conditions

Leg Ulcer

Leg ulcer

A leg ulcer definitely sounds like something we could all happily live without. And thankfully, for people under the age of 45, they are very rare. However, if you’ve made it past the grand old age of 80, the figures show that 1 in every 50 are affected by venous leg ulcers, and they are more common in people who are obese or immobile. Leg ulcers look like craters in the skin, varying in shape, colour and size. Your leg may also be painful, itchy and swollen. In many cases they are due to poor circulation in the arteries, if the valves in your veins stop working or as a result of diabetes. Ulcers need to be kept clean to avoid infection whilst arterial ulcers may benefit from surgery. If the leg ulcer is caused by an underlying disease it’s important to have this treated as well.

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I'm a 36 years old female who has leg ulcers twice. They are horrible disheartening things. My last ulcers over 6 years ago healed with double compression. My current ones due to me having rheumatoid arthritis aren't healing and since staring care with DRs they are getting bigger and always burn and smell. I cry every night with the worry and stress if having these. They have made me less of a go out person now. I would truly appreciate help getting them heald fast





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Is there anyone out there that suffers from vasculitus I was diagnosed last year and as a result I suffer from chronic leg ulcers.. The few that appeared on my left leg have now thankfully healed but I'm forever battling with my right leg... And what's scary for me is that I am only 26 and have people forever saying how young I am to have this condition . I've had verious bandages I go for dressings twice a week but I'm having flare ups every week... I've had steroids for nearly 3months.. I'm booked to see a dermatologist but I feel like I'm fighting this alone still with no answers or treatment for my conditions. And like some of the comments I read above I'm a single mum with a 5year old.. Every day seems to be a struggle but some days are unbearable as not only do I have this unclear but when I have a flare up all my joints seize up and my feet and hands swell... Its really starting to rule my life... And would love to be able to talk to others that have to live with what I have....





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hi there i am two years older than you i have the same problem for 2 years now and its pain pain pain that gets me want to talk email me chat more

Hi, I am writing to you from Ireland. I suffer from Neurocardiogenic Syncope, Paroxysmal Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Type III, to list but a few of my complaints, which I am finding rather difficult to manage. The aforementioned syndromes are, to my knowledge, not genetically inherited. Early September 2015 I fell and cut the area just above my ankle on the front of my leg. This cut developed into a, considerably deep, venous leg ulcer and it's condition has been improving slightly before regressing every few weeks for months. I'm concerned that this ulcer will never completely heal, and with the associated pain, burning and itching alongside everything else it's extremely irritating. I was wondering if it could be possible for one of the aforementioned syndromes to prevent / prolong any healing process. I suffer nasty side effects with penicillin based antibiotics and have had to endure these side effects now thanks to several courses of antibiotics, yet the ulcer seems to continue to weep and burn with cellulitis surrounding the area. I recently turned just 24YOA and I would appreciate any advice / suggestions as life is difficult enough at this current point in time without all of the hassle associated with a venous leg ulcer. I will try anything. Feedback on this would be much obliged. Kind Regards, Lee I





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Hi, a month before my 49th birthday at the end of June I was bitten by an insect just above my ankle at the back of my left leg, I noticed when I started itching anD checked what was causing it, I found two little spot bites next to each other. Over the next few days the bites blistered anD I started with a purple rash down my right leg and foot and also on my left leg, the blisters became surrounded by a very large purple mark and then the blisters popped. I noticed that the rash on my legs and feet had started to form scabs on them. As I work in a hospital and was at work when I found the rash etc I called into A&E where I was originally diagnosed with cellulitis and given antibiotics. A few days later and things were getting worse so my daughter took me back to A&E where they asked a dermatologist to look at me. She diagnosed me with vasculitis and told me to stop taking the antibiotics as they had no effect on the condition and she prescribed me a steroid cream to use instead and asked me to see her the following week in her clinic. At first the cream was OK to use but very soon it became too painful to touch the blisters. At clinic the following week I explained that I couldn't use the cream so she prescribed me with prednisone tablets and had me admitted onto a ward as things had gone worse, my blisters were now an ulcer. I was in hospital for five days with NOTHING being done apart from a biopsy taken from one of the scabs on my leg by a rhumatologist the day after I was admitted. From being discharged I was not given a follow appointment to see either the dermatologist nor the rhumatologist but was told to make an appointment with the nurse at my gp practice in ten days to have my stitch removed from the biopsy. The day after the stich was removed it opened up and became infected, luckily I still had a full course of antibiotics so I took them, I now had two ulcers on my leg. I had to call the hospital to enquire if I was being sent a follow up to get the results of my biopsy, I was told that I was under medics because I was on a medical warD, luckily I knew how things worked so I said if I was admitted by dermatology then it should be them who followed me up especially as it was them who requested my biopsy and rhumatology had already explained that as my vasculitis seems to be only in my skin they wouldn't need to see me again. I eventually got my appointment to see the same dermatologist who managed to spare me approximately two minutes even though I was left in the clinic room for forty minutes in pain as my leg was exposed. That was the last appointment I had with the dermatologist as she'd passed me over to the district nurses and my gp who openly admitted that my condition was too much for them to manage. I had asked to be referred to a plastic surgeon by the dermatologist as I was desperate for my ulcers to be healed so thought I could have a skin graft but unfortunately he is reluctant to do one as he feels that it still wouldn't heal. He referred me to a vascular surgeon who agreed to repair my veins and arteries in the hope that this would help heal my ulcers. He also requested that my gp refer me urgently to someone to take over the care of my vasculitis as he felt that this was the more important issue of my problems to deal with. So now almost six months later I have two large deep very painful ulcers on my left calf, one the original insect bites and the other the biopsy site plus I have two toes on my right foot that have very painful deep ulcers on them too from the vasculitis rash. Non of these ulcers will heal and it's making my life hell, I've been unable to work since the beginning of July and struggle to walk, sleep and do anything I used to do. I'm on extremely strong medication including morphine tablets and oramorph as I was already taking Co-codamol tablets and anti inflamatory tablets for osteoarthritis in my left hip and knee. I'm unable to shower even and I haven't taken a bath for nearly 8 years as I couldn't get in and out of the bath. I'm so down and depressed about my life which has gone down hill so much since I was diagnosed with vasculitis. I'm seeing a specialist for that but as mine seems to be localised to just my skin I don't know if I will be discharged from that clinic. I feel that no one is helping me at all. I'd it wasn't for my beautiful grandchildren I think I would have ended my life yet just over a year ago I was the happiest I've been for a long time and looked at least 15 years younger than I was, now I look and feel 20 years older!! Has anyone else been through anything similar? Thanks in advance





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My legs started leaking twelve months ago I also suffer from chronic psoriasis I went to the district nurse to have them dressed un known to me she put the wrong dressings on without anything to protect them when I went to change my dressings they had stuck disputed all the wetting to get them off the skin ripped off. On the advice of another district nurse I presented myself to A.E to find out I had cellulitis I was kept in hospital for twelve days on a antibiotic dripped I had to beg them to help change my dressing. I had everything from the silver you name it I've have had it. I went to the vasculalar clinch had a scan all clear nothing wrong with my veins so why are they so. Sore, ulcerated they smell leak if gone from being a happy person loving time with our grandchildren. Although I'm disabled I used to love to go out. As a result of not being active my weight has increased which I hate I have never been as big as this. I am now sixty three and feel my life is over. I suffer from constant infection as allergic to some antibiotics is hard to find the right one. I just wish there was something that could be done I feel if this Carey's on I could loose my legs.

I have an ulcer on my leg it has radically grown in size which makes me think it is infected. It started off as a cut 3 months from a bang to a vein in my lower leg. It looked as though it healed but underneath was growing infected. I have poor ciruclation so it is hard to heal but I'm not getting much offering interms of treatment and the pain is excruating. There is a pulse when ever I apply creams, mediation or ointment and remove the bandages but I have also had a large number of antibiotics prescribed that haven't been effective and have made me constipated with major stomach cramps. I am losing my patients with the specialists Wandering if the leg will ever heal or if I have to chop it off? Very seriously worried, frightened and frustrated . Can you give me a better idea of what it could be AND THE best pain relief and treatment to heal it. Mo





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I have suffered with leg ulcers on and off since 1985 when i fractured my back and got a dvt as a result of it they have at times lasted between 4-18 months to heal and i have had all kinds of treatments on them including honey silver compression etc etc.... and i have managed to go a couple of years sometimes without getting one - but recently some 5 weeks ago i got another one after having my doppler at health centre i was put back into compression as they said it was only a superficial one this time but when i went for my weekly check up last week the stuff that had come on to the bandages looked horrible it was worse than i have ever seen it was a horrible black colour - they said there was no odour but they took a swab and put iodine on it - 2 days ago my wife said there was a horrible odour like stale urine is it possible for the iodine to cause this smell or is it more likely to be an infected ulcer - i now have started to smell it and it is doing my head in with worry the pain i was suffering with seems to be decreasing so i dont actually have any idea what is going on could you possibilly shed any light on this.





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I have had a venous ulcer on my left inner ankle for over 12 years and I am sick to death of it. I cannot believe that in this day and age, with all the medical miracles that doctors can perform, leg ulcers are still impossible to cure. I get so fed up with people saying 'there must be something the doctor/hospital can do'. No one ever understands and like other people ave said on here, you end up feeling alone and wondering what on earth you have done to deserve such a horrible ailment. My problems started when I was pregnant with my son and I got a DVT. I then got another DVT when my son was a few weeks old. The lasting effects of this was that the valves in the veins in my lower leg were irreparably damaged and the skin over the area was left very thin and silvery looking. A few years later, I cut the skin (just a tiny nick) and it bled profusely. I had to be taken to hospital to stop the bleeding as it was spurting out like a fountain. This left a hole in my leg which took around 4 months to heal. It wasn't diagnosed as a leg ulcer until about 8 weeks in and that was only because I kept going back to the doctors as it was leaking smelly exudate constantly. I was put into the 4 layer bandaging and it eventually healed. However, a few years later (when my son was 6 and my daughter was 1), I caught my leg again. This small injury resulted in another ulcer which has never healed (well, not for longer than a couple of weeks at a time). I have tried every treatment known to man! Some of them work for a few weeks but none work long term. I cannot begin to explain what it has been like to have small children and be in chronic pain every second of every day. At its worst, I cannot walk or sleep and I am on so many pain killers, I'm surprised I'm even awake. It really is awful. Unsurprisingly, being unable to exercise and being basically housebound has left me overweight which I understand is not helping the situation. I have recently lost 3 stone with Slimming World but I am disappointed that this has had no positive effect on my leg so far. I am currently trialling a new treatment so, for probably the hundredth time, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be 'the one'. Four weeks in and there are no major changes though. We are due to go abroad in 2 days time and it has never been this painful before so understandably, I'm dreading it. I just want my life to not involve constant pain anymore. I am sick of my first and last thought of every day being 'ow'. I have lost all my twenties through this (not being able to wear any fashionable shoes as I can only wear backless ones), not being able to go out and enjoy myself and never being able to wear a skirt, dress or shorts. I also feel like I have not been able to be the mother I wanted to be to my children as so much of my life is spent in agony. It has been good to read other people's experiences on here.





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Everything you have written is exactly how I have been feeling. I have been in pain everyday sometimes at night I cannot sleep and by the time I can get to sleep I have to get up. I am so exhausted at work I doze off all the time. I had this once before when I had no insurance and I went to the county clinic where the doctor there actually knew what this was and how to treat it. Unfortunately that doctor is no longer around and I have been to 3 doctors the first one said I needed a pap smear ??? The second really never said anything and the one I have now at least has given me antibiotics and wrap my legs with unna boots but I know more about what to do then she does and she does not understand the pain. So I now order my unna boots and bandages on line and do them myself which sometimes can take me hours so then I'm late everywhere and so flustered. It has been good to read everyone's comments because I thought I was going nuts. Good luck to everyone.

My partner has had leg ulcers for over a yeah now she has 2 big ones which has merged into one and about 4 little ones on the same leg. The doctors don't seen to help, they said it's not vascular as her blood flow is fine. She's been in cronic pain and can't hardly walk some days. She also has a weak immune system which that's what there putting it down to. She's under a rumatologist, but just feels like no one knows what their doing and like were going round and round in circles.she can't have compression bandages as it's too sore and open. Thankyou





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Hi I'm 39 years old and have suffered from really bad veins in my legs since I was 10 years old I've already had 3 vein removed by stripping them , not a nice operation I got my first leg ulcer above my ankle 3 years ago and yes it is the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life I have 3 young children and can never sit down and rest and I have no help , I now got another leg ulcer above my ankle and I cry nearly every day I feel I am totally on my own with this illness doctors don't care I have all the other stories above and this has given me more information then doctors have given me so just want to say thank you, and will keep you all in my prayers would love to go on this show and get proper help xxx





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I am having lower leg ulcers with both legs for about 1 year. The ulcers seem to rotate legs. And when I do not have one I keep my legs lotions at all time to try to prevent problems but one little nick then it gets out of control and have to have the two layer wrap on and it is getting old and suggestions?





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