A small wound can be a harmless condition that one can have. It is commonly treated with an antiseptic and heals within a few days. However, when it doesn’t heal and seem to be getting bigger, it will no longer be a wound, but an ulcer.
Simply put, an ulcer is like a wound, only bigger and more severe. According to Veniti, it can stem from a minor injury, such as eagerly scratching an itch that later develops into a wound and gets bigger. Some conditions make a small wound worsen, such as the following:
1. Venous disease
When you have a disease in the veins such as venous insufficiency or varicose veins, the veins are not working properly. The blood flow pools in the legs (because of gravity), especially if your job requires standing or sitting for long periods of time.
The skin around your legs become thinner and starts to swell, which can later on develop into a leg ulcer.
2. Arterial disease
The leg ulcer that develops from an arterial disease is almost the same with venous disease. However, with the arterial disease, the blood flow to where the ulcer is limited. The tissue underneath the skin will get less blood supply, which can cause the ulcer to develop or necrotize.
3. Endocrine disorders
An endocrine disorder, like diabetes, can cause a leg ulcer. Most commonly known as pressure ulcers, this type of ulcer frequently develops with immobility. You will commonly see this type of ulcer with bedridden or the very weak or sick elderly.
The sweat on the skin and contact against a bed sheet will create the friction, which eventually leads to a small wound. This is most common in the bony prominences, such as the elbow, hips, and heel. With diabetes, the healing time is longer than usual. The wound gets bigger and more difficult to treat.
The most important thing to remember when one has a leg ulcer is to have it seen by a medical professional. They should evaluate it and treat the underlying cause before it worsens and causes disability.