Terms to Know: Venous Leg Ulcers

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by the WoundSource Editors

Atrophie blanche: The term describing pale, morphologic scarring on the lower leg or foot; it occurs when blood supply is poor and healing is prolonged.

Biological debridement: The use of maggots grown in a sterile environment to consume and digest dead tissue and pathogens.

Cadexomer iodine: A water-soluble polymer topical agent containing 0.9% iodine (gel) or 4.7% iodine (ointment), which can be used to minimize the risk of infection and promote effective treatment of venous ulcers.

Cellular therapy: The use of skin substitutes or cellular therapy products, such as those from a donor or animal, to increase the likelihood of venous leg ulcer healing. This therapy is often used in conjunction with other care methods.

Compression stockings: Elastic hosiery garments that are used for venous insufficiency and lymphedema management. These stockings help to reduce edema and assist the return of venous blood to the heart.

Endovenous ablation: An image-guided, minimally invasive treatment that uses laser technology or radiofrequency to correct superficial venous reflux.

Enzymatic debridement: The use of a prescribed topical agent that can chemically liquefy necrotic tissue with enzymes. It is often less painful but can be more expensive than other forms of debridement.

Gaiter area: The area on the leg that extends from just above the ankle to below the knee.

Hypertension: Abnormally high blood pressure. Venous hypertension describes the existence of high pressure in the veins of the legs.

Intermittent pneumatic compression pumps: Devices that compress the leg, foot, and ankle intermittently to improve circulation in the lower extremities and prevent blood clots from forming.

Peripheral arterial disease: The buildup of plaque (made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances)- in the arteries that carry blood throughout the body. Peripheral arterial disease negatively impacts the ability of the vascular system to perfuse body tissues sufficiently.

Pruritus: An unpleasant sensation that causes the desire to scratch the skin. Pruritus is characteristic of many conditions, including venous leg ulcers. It may be localized or general and can occur as an acute or chronic condition.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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