advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Living with Leg Ulcers?

I was wondering what you would recommend for treatment and prevention of leg ulcers. My grandmother has a real problem, but I have a hard time getting her to do the things I recommend.

A
Answer (Published 3/28/2005)

The most common kind of leg ulcers are called venous stasis ulcers and usually occur in people who have a medical history of leg swelling, varicose veins, or blood clots in veins in the legs. These account for between 80 to 90 percent of all leg ulcers. They typically develop below the knee, most frequently on the inner part of the ankles and can occur on one or both legs. They often weep fluid and are easily infected.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

Another type of leg ulcers are ischemic or arterial ulcers which usually show up on the heels, tips of the toes, between the toes or wherever protruding bones rub against socks or shoes. These can be very painful, particularly at night. They tend to develop in people who have poor circulation in their legs, usually as a result of smoking, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Diabetic ulcers tend to develop at pressure points on the bottom of the feet and may occur as a result of trauma from pressure, injury or dry skin. Because of nerve damage that can go along with diabetes, affected people may not feel pain due to trauma (this is the reason why it is essential that diabetics carefully check their feet for injury every day and never go barefoot).

Regardless of what kind of ulcer you have, treatment requires keeping the affected area clean by bathing it gently with warm water and mild soap. This will help loosen and wash away dead skin and any debris from the ulcer. Comfrey root ground into a powder with a blender and mixed to a paste with water or aloe vera gel, then packed in the ulcer can help with healing. Cover the paste with a bandage and change the poultice once a day, washing out the wound with hydrogen peroxide to prevent infection. In addition, venous ulcers should be helped along by compression with a stocking or ace bandage.

Your grandmother should see her physician to find out what kind of leg ulcers she has in order to get appropriate treatment. If the ulcers stem from a circulatory problem in her legs, she may need treatment, possibly surgery, to restore circulation.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here