Venous leg ulcers, also known as venous stasis ulcers, can result from venous insufficiency due to an incompetent saphenous vein and/or perforator vein causing the blood to back flow. This is called “reflux.” Back flow causes increased pressure in the skin and surrounding tissue. The leg becomes swollen from this increased pressure. This pressure causes skin changes such as discoloration, darkening, tightening and hardening. If an external injury, bump, or even a slight scratch affects this damaged tissue, an ulcer can form.
These ulcers tend to persist unless the underlying vein problem is treated. Most refluxing saphenous and perforator veins can be treated with laser ablation and a painless injection of a medication followed by one to two weeks of compression with stockings.