Skin Ulcer Overview
What is a skin ulcer?
A person with a skin ulcer has an open sore in the skin that looks like a crater. A skin ulcer is caused by an injury to skin that has poor blood supply. Small skin ulcers caused by casts, splints, or insect bites usually heal in 2 weeks. Ulcers may never heal completely in those with peripheral vascular disease. Skin ulcers are more common in the elderly and in those with diabetes.
What are the symptoms of a skin ulcer?
Symptoms that may occur with a skin ulcer include pain, redness, swelling and tenderness around the ulcer. Additional symptoms may include a fever, bleeding, or pus draining from the ulcer.
How does the doctor treat a skin ulcer?
Treatment for a skin ulcer may include protective bandages or splints, antibiotic cream or ointment, oral antibiotics, and whirlpool baths. Additional treatment may include surgery to remove infected tissue from the ulcer.
Continue to Skin Ulcer Risk Factors
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- Frank C. Approach to skin ulcers in older patients. Can Fam Physician. 2004 Dec;50:1653-9. 
- Jones JE, Nelson EA. Skin grafting for venous leg ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD001737.