Many years ago, Hippocrates made two very interesting observations. One is that varicose veins do not appear until puberty and the other is that people with varicose veins can develop skin ulcers known as venous stasis ulcers.
Venous stasis ulcers are the most serious consequence of chronic venous insufficiency (the cause of varicose veins). While there is much known about this debilitating phenomenon, there are more questions than answers.
It has been suggested that in developed countries there is an approximately 1 percent lifetime risk of venous ulcer formation and 10 percent risk of developing the predisposing skin changes. However, these numbers are from older literature and things are changing. People are living longer which means more individuals are walking around with venous insufficiency and all the inherent risks. This means many more people could be affected by these painful, difficult to treat ulcers.
On the other hand, treatments are improving on all venous fronts. Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) management is evolving significantly and perhaps the risk of post thrombotic syndrome (leading to venous ulcers) will diminish. Likewise, superficial venous insufficiency treatment will continue to evolve.
Many therapies have been used to manage venous ulcers including compression treatment, surgery, endovenous ablations, and various wound care options. Click here to learn more about venous stasis ulcer treatments.