Skin ulcers resemble broken red sores. In advanced cases, the skin area around the ulcers is open and secretes fluid with an unpleasant odor. Skin ulcers are commonly caused by extreme effects such as trauma, exposure to cold or heat, and irritation due to contact with an acidic material.
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Skin ulcers are likely caused by lack of blood flow that in turn creates an oxygen-staved environment; which is a breeding ground for infection and bacteria. When a skin ulcer develops the area typically turns dark red or purple and becomes thick, dry and itchy in texture.
There are three majority types of ulcers: arterial ulcer, venous ulcers and chronic ulcers. Arterial ulcers are normally related to atherosclerosis or diabetes. Venous ulcers are the most common type of skin ulcer. These occur on either side of the lower legs, below the calf and above the ankles. Chronic ulcers include pressure ulcers and appear on the area of the body where the prolonged pressure reduces the blood supply. For example, patients often develop pressure ulcers when they are confined to a bed or a chair. This is why pressure ulcers are also referred to as bedsores. Individuals who have worn a hard brace or plaster cast for a long time of period can also develop chronic skin ulcers.
The best treatment for skin ulcers is to seek medical care for them as soon as possible.