Causes and Risk Factors of Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers, the most severe form of venous insufficiency, involve both the deep and superficial vein systems, including perforator veins. Severe ulceration results from the inability of the legs’ blood vessels to force blood upwards to the heart (venous reflux) and high pressure in the legs’ veins (venous hypertension), resulting in changes in the microcirculation of the skin.

Possible risk factors for venous ulcers can include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • A family history of varicose veins
  • Sedentary occupations
  • A sustained history of blood clotting

At The Vein Clinic, our caring and expertly trained professionals provide every method available for the treatment and closure of venous ulcers. We proudly serve the communities in and surrounding Salt Lake County and Utah County, UT.

man being treated for venous ulcers in salt lake county


Signs and symptoms of venous ulcers include, but are not limited to:

  • Swollen and enlarged leg veins (varicose veins or smaller spider veins).
  • Swollen ankles (edema).
  • Darkening and discoloration of the skin surrounding an ulcer.
  • Hardening of the skin surrounding an ulcer.
  • Aching or swelling.
  • Leg tiredness or heaviness.
  • Skin rashes, redness, flaking, or itching (varicose eczema).
  • Unpleasant discharge from the ulcer.

Treatments We Have Available

The method of treatment our team employs depends both on your personal ulcer situation and the findings of your ultrasounds.

For long-segment veins and perforator veins, our treatments include:

  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA): RFA involves the insertion of a catheter, or small tube, into the affected veins, which are mapped by means of an ultrasound. Once the catheter is inserted, small electric shocks are administered through the tube to the veins, causing them to heat up and shrink. Upon completion of the procedure, blood flow is redirected away from the affected veins and into healthy ones, while the affected veins eventually dissolve back into the body.
  • Endovenous laser ablation (EVLT): With EVLT, a small incision is made in the leg’s affected area, and a medical professional will use a laser to directly destroy the vein. Patients are given anesthesia beforehand, and the procedure leaves virtually no scarring on the surface of the skin.
  • Medical adhesives: These are medical-grade “glues” used to seal off unhealthy veins. Once they are closed, these veins will harden and dissolve while blood is rerouted to healthier veins, much like with RFA.

For varicose veins, our other treatments include:

  • Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy: this involves the injection of a solution directly into the unhealthy veins, causing them to dissolve and blood to reroute as with RFA and medical adhesives.
  • Micro-incisions: For particularly large affected veins, a medical professional may remove them by making incisions and removing the veins directly.

For associated tributary veins, our team can perform treatment either through US-guided sclerotherapy or with non-procedural treatment, such as non-elastic compression bandaging usage, compression stockings, leg elevation, and the usage of NSAIDs for pain.

Get in Touch Today

We are part of the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, and proudly serve the communities of Salt Lake County and Utah County, UT. If you would like to learn more about what our seasoned and friendly team can do for your health and well-being, give us a call today at 844-316-8771.

“Work used to be tiring and my legs would ache and swell. Now I have more energy and no longer have pain and swelling in my legs after work.”

~ T. A. (The Vein Clinic Patient)