How To Treat a Leg Ulcer

How To Treat a Leg Ulcer

Before you learn how to treat a leg ulcer, it’s important to understand what it is and how it develops. About 70% of leg ulcers are caused by venous disease, in which veins are not working properly and allowing blood to flow backward or build up in the leg. That pooling of blood leads to swelling and skin changes that can lead to a leg ulcer. Although this may sound painful, most leg ulcers actually do not cause any pain unless they become infected.


Leg ulcer symptoms often begin slowly and increase over time. Leg ulcers most often develop on the inside of the leg just above the ankle. Common leg ulcer symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the ankle or leg veins
  • Feelings of heaviness or aching in the leg
  • Skin changes, including discoloration, scaly, flaky or hardened skin

If left untreated, a leg ulcer can become infected, which can be very serious. Symptoms of an infected leg ulcer include discharge or a bad smell from the wound, worsening pain, or a fever.


A leg ulcer will not heal overnight. Most leg ulcers heal within 3-4 months with proper, consistent care.

  • Medicated Wrap/Unna Boot – Clean dressings and special medication is wrapped around the wound to encourage healing.
  • Compression Stockings – specially fitted by a trained professional, compression stockings support the leg veins and promote proper circulation.
  • Elevating the Leg – Pressure in the leg veins is reduced when the legs are elevated, especially when elevated above the level of the heart.


The underlying cause of most leg ulcers is venous disease. Come to the vein experts at Minneapolis Vein Center for expert care. Our Interventional Radiologists will create a custom treatment plan to heal your leg ulcer and treat your veins so the ulcer doesn’t return. To learn more, please contact us at 763-398-8710.


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Minneapolis Vein Center
2800 Campus Drive, Suite 20
Plymouth, MN 55441
Phone: (763) 398-8710
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