Venous ulcers in the lower limbs are caused due to the stasis of blood in the veins when there is ineffective return of it to the heart.
Various factors that increase a person’s risk of developing venous ulcers include –
1) History of varicose veins – Presence of gnarled, dilated veins in the legs, otherwise known as varicosity of the veins often gives rise to venous ulcerations
2) History of DVT or phlebitis – Circulatory problems like clot in the deep veins of the legs or painful swelling of the veins enhances the likelihood of ulcer formation
3) Age – More common in the elderly, usually above the age of 60 years
4) Gender – Women are more prone, especially the ones who are older and postmenopausal
5) Physical activity – People who report spending eight or more hours a day on an average in sedentary activities (sitting or standing) also tend to have a significantly higher incidence of varicose veins and venous ulcers in comparison to those who spent four or fewer hours a day on such activities
6) Occupation – Jobs that demand prolonged hours of sitting or standing put the employees at a higher risk of developing venous disorders. For instance, desk workers, healthcare professionals, teachers, traffic policemen, drivers, etc are required to pay special attention to their vascular health
7) Body weight – Obesity is an important contributing factor as it increases the pressure on the limbs
8) History of smoking – The noxious chemicals entering the body disrupt the elasticity of the blood vessels and cause further damage
9) Family History – A strong, positive family history lies in favour of a greater probability of developing this condition
10) Associated co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus not only increase the risk of developing venous ulcers, but they also impede their prompt healing.