A Comprehensive Guide to Leg Ulcers

A Comprehensive Guide to Leg Ulcers

This blog covers the first signs of leg ulcers and both medical and at-home treatments. We’ll discuss why it’s important to examine the underlying causes and how to reduce and prevent their frequency.

An ulcer is an open sore on your skin. Ulcers can affect any area of your skin, but often, they occur on the legs.

Leg ulcers can be very painful and often take as long as three to four months to heal, with appropriate treatment.

The most common cause of leg ulcers is poor blood circulation in your veins. This can lead to several other issues including chronic vein insufficiency. Early detection is key in preventing irreparable damage.

Anatomy of Leg Ulcers

A leg ulcer is a chronic sore that develops between your knee and your ankle. They typically appear on your inner leg near your ankle and may take several weeks if not months to heal.

They present as large, red, swollen, fluid-seeping sores with irregular edges that are resistant to healing.



Generally, ulcers are characterized by how they look, their location, the surrounding skin.

Some causes of leg ulcers include:

• Lymphedema
• Venous Disease
• Peripheral Arterial Disease
• History of Leg Ulcers
• Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
• Undergoing Surgery or Injuring an Infected Leg


Signs and Symptoms

Most symptoms of vein disorders are transitory and can be effectively treated. However, venous leg ulcers are much more challenging and severe.

The heightened risk of an open sore getting infected is what distinguishes it from other diseases. If left untreated, a venous leg ulcer can have a negative impact on your health.

Signs of leg ulcers may include aching and tightness in your calves. Throbbing or a heavy feeling in your legs may also signify their coming appearance.

Once an ulcer develops, you may see discolored splotches around the edges due to pooled and trapped blood.

Some leg ulcers will only affect the skin, however, there are times when the sore may descend deeper into your muscle, your tendon, fat layer, or bone.

Risk Factors

Women are at a higher risk of having Venous leg ulcers. Women affected tend to be in their forties, while the men affected tend to be in their seventies. Other possible causes for venous leg ulcers include:

• Cancer
• Obesity
• Smoking
• Immobility
• Pregnancy
• Varicose Veins
• Heredity/Genetics
• Incompetent Valves
• Swelling of a Superficial Vein (phlebitis)
• Muscle Weakness in the Legs, Leg Injury, or Trauma

A majority of ulcers heal within three months. However, some ulcers may take years to heal and about 15% may never completely heal.


Seeking Medical Help

You should contact your doctor if you have a wound that will not heal, or if you think that your wound is infected. Your doctor should inquire about any history of recurring or chronic conditions, like diabetes or hardening of the arteries.

In some cases, additional tests such as an X-ray or CT scan may be needed.

Signs of a wound or leg ulcer infection can include:

• Chills
• Odor
• Fever
• Bleeding
• Increased Pain
• Excess Drainage
• Swelling About the Wound
• Redness, Increased Warmth
• Cloudy or Yellowish Drainage


Diagnosing Leg Ulcers

A physician will perform a Doppler Study to evaluate your veins and arteries. During a Doppler Study, an ultrasound probe is placed on the skin in order to visualize blood flow patterns.

Your doctor may also obtain blood pressure readings at your arms and ankles for comparison if he/she suspects arterial disease.

Treating Leg Ulcers

Some treatment options are non-invasive, while other methods are medically involved. Treatment options are administered based on the severity of your condition.

Medical treatment strives to enhance blood flow to the affected area as well as encourage recovery of the ulcer.


Practicing Prevention

Here are some things that you can do at home to prevent a leg ulcer.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings assist in reducing strain and edema on the skin due to increased pressure and swelling.

Elevate Your Legs

Elevating your legs will help in circulating blood back to your heart. Also, use a pillow to prop up your feet when sleeping, and elevate your legs above your heart for 30 minutes when you awaken, and repeat up to four times daily.

Maintain Healthy Skin

Keep your lower legs clean and moisturized with a non-drying, alcohol-free moisturizing cream or lotion.



Exercise is known to promote healthy veins and blood flow. Daily exercise is also an awesome way to increase circulation. Foot and ankle exercises can promote good blood flow. So, give it a try.

Point your toes upwards, then point them away from you. Repeat this exercise for a few sets every day. This can be done in a sitting or standing position.

New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center in Morris County is committed to personalized patient care and good vein health.

Our state-of-the-art vein center maintains the highest standards and advances in the field of vein and vascular care. Our goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of your various vein conditions.

For more on our office and services, please contact us today.

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

Chemical Peels for Acne Scars

When it comes to acne, getting a pimple is just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to reduce or eliminate breakouts fast. Face washes, acne creams, and even medication can help. But for many, it’s the acne aftermath of scars causes concern. And it’s the reason why so many people are turning to chemical peels for acne scars.

Why Acne Scarring Occurs

When acne cysts are painfully inflamed and penetrate deeper skin layers, the risk for scarring increases. Scarring is a result of the healing response initiated by the immune system.

As acne nodules diminish, the immune system tells the body to produce more collagen. Collagen is a protein used to support skin firmness and overall health.

Too much or too little collagen determines the severity of acne scarring. For example, depressed or “caved-in” scars occur when there is not enough collagen to repair skin damage. Scars that appear raised above the surface of the skin indicate the release of too much collagen.


Raised acne scars are seen more frequently in people of color. Depressed acne scars predominantly affect lighter-skinned individuals.

Reducing the Appearance of ScarsOne of the most effective treatments to reduce the appearance of acne scars is a chemical peel. Chemical peels smooth away scar ridges and indentations. They safely and gently exfoliate the topmost layers of your skin.

What is a Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels use various concentrations of alpha-hydroxy, trichloroacetic, and/or glycolic acid. A licensed medical professional will apply the concentrate to areas with scarring. This helps eliminate damaged skin cells and speeds up regeneration. As the peel stimulates collagen production by causing a mild wound event, old skin cells are replaced by new, healthy skin cells.


Chemical peels take about an hour to complete. After a peel, you should expect some redness like a sunburn. Mild chemical peels may be performed every two or three weeks. Minimize itching by keeping your skin hydrated or using a cold compress.

Severe acne scarring may require a “deep” chemical peel. This type of peel may use phenol to penetrate deeper into the skin. Communicate openly with your doctor to achieve the best results.

In addition to reducing acne scars, chemical peels smooth away fine lines, mild skin discolorations, and treat actinic keratosis.

A Great Time to Get Rid of Acne Scars

There are a lot of misconceptions about chemical peels. For some, that means it gets put on the back burner of things to do. But the number one myth about chemical peels is that you will have to hide in your home for days after due to redness and flaking. That’s not true! A chemical skin peel can be stress-free with very little downtime if any at all.

Chemical peels now consist of gentler but more effective solutions. Patients can even opt for a lunchtime peel that takes about 20 minutes. There is minimal redness, and you can resume normal activities directly following the procedure.


However, keep in mind that chemical peels formulated to reach deeper skin layers may cause more apparent redness and flaking.

Acne scars can easily be reduced or eliminated with safe and effective chemical peels. Call us today to schedule a free consultation appointment.


Fall welcomes cooler temperatures and brisk breezes that bring a healthy, attractive glow to your cheeks. It’s also the time to wear cute, soft sweaters, leggings, and free-form hairstyles. While you sip your pumpkin spice, consider the following:

Chemicals peels rejuvenate your skin leaving your skin fresh and glowing. No more spending hours in the morning applying concealers, foundation, and powder. Just shower, get dressed, and be ready to greet the day.

The days are getting shorter and there is less sun. UV rays aren’t nearly as strong as they are during summer. You’ll still need to use sunscreen after your procedure, but you can go outside with less caution during fall versus summer.

The holiday season is upon us. Every year it sneaks right up. A chemical peel is a great way to get ready for the busy times during the season when makeup isn’t an option. For the gatherings you attend and everything between, a chemical peel can help revitalize your skin.

Get the look you want with a chemical peel this fall season at the NJVVC!

Prevent and Treat Hyperpigmentation

Prevent and Treat Hyperpigmentation

Prevent and treat dark spots on your skin with proper skincare and some helpful tips. Don’t be embarrassed by hyperpigmentation. Figure out the cause and treat the issue.

The reality is that hyperpigmentation occurs in more people than you may realize. Hyperpigmentation is a common problem that affects all skin types.

While this skin condition is often harmless, it could also be a sign of illness that requires medical treatment. It’s best to consult a doctor before taking action to remedy the issue.

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which dark patches appear on the skin. This darkening of the skin occurs when melanocytes become hyper-stimulated.

In turn, from this excess stimulation, melanocytes create an increased production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin it’s color. So, when our bodies begin to produce more of it, it causes us to tan or in this case, develop dark spots.

Hyperpigmentation Diagram

People with a fairer complexion have less melanin and tend to develop hyperpigmentation more easily than others. However, individuals with darker complexions may have more difficulty getting rid of hyperpigmentation.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

There are a variety of causes for hyperpigmentation. The causes range from simple day-to-day activities to possible warning signs of illness. Here’s what you should know:

Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of excessive exposure to the sun. With sun damage, darker spots appear in areas that are always subjected to the sun i.e., face, arms, and legs.

Melasma is characterized by brown patches that commonly appear on women during pregnancy. Heredity, sun exposure, and hormones play key roles in its development.

Melasma Patch

Inflammation can lead to discoloration of the skin. Dark spots can be triggered in areas that have become inflamed due to acne (acne scars), insect bites, or minor injuries.

Dark patches on the skin can also be a sign of serious illnesses such as lupus or cancer. Consult a doctor to rule these medical issues out.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

The primary cause of hyperpigmentation is the sun. Avoid exposing yourself to its damaging rays for prolonged periods of time.

Sunburn leads to inflammation which is a big proponent of dark spots. Doctors recommend using a daily sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection.

Since dark spots can also be caused by an injury, acne, or even a bug bite, avoid touching affected areas to prevent further inflammation.

Stay moisturized with ingredients that benefit the skin. Choose a product that will restore your skin’s barrier and boost cell turnover rate.

How to Treat Hyperpigmentation

If you have hyperpigmentation, the following will help reduce its appearance and minimize further damage:

  • Vitamin C boosts collagen and helps reverse cell damage.
  • Vitamin E protects skin from further damage and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Hyaluronic acid offers additional moisture and speeds up wound healing.
  • Retinol to boost cell turnover rate.

Consult a medical professional for further information about topical prescription treatments. These treatments may include products that offer hydroquinone, azelaic acid, or corticosteroids; agents that provide a bleaching effect.

For more serious skin issues, laser treatment, ablative or nonablative, can be effective.

Ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, effectively erasing the skin issue.

Nonablative lasers, on the other hand, pass through the skin without removing any. Both laser types are used to correct hyperpigmentation, skin texture, and tone.

New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center addresses a full range of issues that affect your skin. We specialize in creating a treatment plan that will meet your expectations and achieve your desired results.

Contact us for more information about changing the look of your skin for a more confident and healthier you.

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