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Skin Tears and Venous Leg Ulcers in the Elderly

Skin Tears and Venous leg ulcers are among the most common wounds treated in General Practice particularly in the elderly.

Both are often painful, can be slow to heal, cause distress and greatly reduce a person’s quality of life.

Wound pain can have an impact on your overall health and well-being, including quality of sleep, mood, relationships and activity.

Skin Tears and Venous Leg Ulcers in the Elderly

What most people don’t know is this important bit of info: VEIN problems are the source of 80% of leg ulcers. In venous reflux or venous disease the blood flows backward and pools. This pooling allows for imbalanced forces, irritating the tissues which then release chemicals. This leads to an inflammation process and eventually skin breakdown, skin tears and ulcers.

  • A healthy diet high in calories, protein and vitamins A, C and E, as well as an adequate fluid intake is necessary to promote wound healing and replace fluid loss from wound exudate especially when you have a venous leg ulcer.
  • Additionally, elevating the affected leg to heart level during periods of inactivity to reduce oedema will assist healing.
  • Heal to toe walking and ankle stretches, especially while wearing compression bandages, can improve calf muscle function, assist venous return and reduce oedema.
  • Compression therapy is the cornerstone for the management and prevention of venous leg ulcers.
  • A recent Australian study found that application of an appropriate moisturiser twice a day to arms and legs reduces the incidence of skin tears by almost 50%.

For more information and advice please consult a Doctor.

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