What Causes Leg Ulcers to Form?

It is well-known that longstanding varicose veins can lead to leg ulcers.  The mechanism is believed to be the same as that which damages the venous valves, i.e.  iron from the bloodstream leaches into the skin over many years from the damaged veins.  Enzymes attempt to remove the iron by breaking down these deposits, however, collateral damage to the skin results from these enzymes, leading at first to discoloration and thickening of the skin, skin rashes and eventually skin breakdown and ulcers.

Leg ulcers usually form at the ankle region where the pressure in the veins is the highest.  This high pressure forces the blood out of the veins into the tissues.

There are other causes of leg ulcers including infection, cancer and arterial disease so leg ulcers must be evaluated by an experienced physician prior to recommending treatment.