When the swollen tissue also gets sloughed off on the region where there are skin sores, this kind of problem is termed a skin ulcer. Infection of skin ulcers leads to several health complications.
A variety of reasons could lead to skin ulcers. These include blood circulation issues, extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, coming in contact with corrosive substances, sores in the mouth, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, bedsores (when a section of the skin is in continuous contact with a surface leading to pressure sore) and so on.
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What are the symptoms of skin ulcers?
- Skin ulcer region exhibits ruddiness of the skin
- There is a break in the skin on the region
- Pus or blood may be seen to ooze out of the ulcer
- Inflammation of the region of the ulcer
- Exposed muscle or bone in extreme cases
- An infected skin ulcer will exhibit bleeding, pus-filled sores, oozing pus, swelling, redness, tenderness, and lymphangitis under the arms and at the back of the legs.
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An ulcer is treated by keeping the problem area clean and dry as far as possible. Bandages that protect the skin may be wound around the ulcer, sometimes along with pads or splints, as the requirement may be. The dressing is usually accompanied by an intake of oral medicines and the application of appropriate lotion or cream. Whirlpool baths are also a recommended form of treatment for ulcers. Sometimes treatment may involve surgical removal of the infected tissue.
Skin care during the period of treatment would be relative to the seriousness of the problem. The depth to which the ulcer has affected the skin, the cause for the ulcer and the presence or absence of infection are all significant factors that determine the mode of treatment.
To determine the right type of antibiotic to be administered for oral consumption, a skin culture is usually done. Based on the findings antibiotics are prescribed. These include Ampicillin, Cefazolin, Cephalexin, Ciprofloxacin, Nafcillin, Amoxicillin, Sulfamethaxozole, Metronidazole and so on.
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How to prevent ulcer
- Wash the skin clean with a gentle soap that does not dry the skin
- Take the steps to retain skin moisture – use a good quality moisturizer that suits your skin and retains its smoothness, firmness and keeps it blemish-free
- Protect skin from the environment and the sun’s harmful rays; use a sunscreen of the right type, in order to create a protective barrier on the skin against dirt and dust
- Avoid injuries that may be caused to your feet or legs
- Keep swollen legs in an elevated position for as long a duration as possible
- Try to avoid pressure sores by managing the skin to skin contact in areas where there are folds of skin
- Avoid bedsores by changing position often, if you are bedridden
- Keep away both from cigarettes and people who smoke them as the latter may lead to risks of secondary smoking.