Causes of Venous Stasis Ulcers

Nov 13, 2023

Welcome to Vein Center of Arizona! As a leading authority in Vascular Medicine, we are dedicated to providing valuable insights on various venous conditions, including venous stasis ulcers. In this article, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the causes of venous stasis ulcers and how they can be prevented.

Understanding Venous Stasis Ulcers

Venous stasis ulcers are open sores that typically occur on the lower legs, ankles, or feet. They are often a result of venous insufficiency, a condition where the valves in the leg veins fail to efficiently return blood flow back to the heart. As a consequence, blood pools in the veins, resulting in increased pressure and eventual damage to the surrounding tissues.

The Main Causes

Multiple factors contribute to the development of venous stasis ulcers. Understanding these causes is crucial in identifying potential risk factors and implementing preventive measures.

1. Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is the primary cause of venous stasis ulcers. When the valves in the leg veins become weak or damaged, blood flow becomes inefficient, causing blood to accumulate in the lower extremities. Over time, this chronic venous hypertension can result in the development of venous stasis ulcers.

2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis, commonly referred to as DVT, is another factor that can contribute to the development of venous stasis ulcers. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of the leg. If left untreated, a DVT can impair blood flow, leading to venous stasis and the subsequent development of ulcers.

3. Obesity

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for many health conditions, and venous stasis ulcers are no exception. Excess weight puts additional strain on the veins, inhibiting proper blood flow and increasing the likelihood of venous insufficiency.

4. Lack of Physical Activity

A sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on venous health. Regular physical activity promotes better blood circulation and strengthens the muscles that support healthy venous function. Prolonged sitting or limited mobility can hinder blood flow, leading to venous stasis and ulcer formation.

5. Aging

As we age, our veins naturally lose some of their elasticity and strength, increasing the risk of venous insufficiency. The aging process can also contribute to the development of other conditions, such as varicose veins, which further increase the likelihood of venous stasis ulcers.

6. Previous Leg Injuries

Past leg injuries, such as fractures or trauma to veins, can cause damage that impairs proper blood flow. When blood is not effectively transported back to the heart, it can pool in the lower extremities, leading to venous stasis and, eventually, ulcers.

Preventing Venous Stasis Ulcers

While some risk factors for venous stasis ulcers are beyond our control, there are preventive measures that can be taken to minimize the risk:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and adopt a balanced diet.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to promote better circulation.
  • Elevate your legs whenever possible to reduce swelling and improve blood flow.
  • Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Take breaks and move around if your job requires extended periods of sedentary behavior.
  • Wear compression stockings or garments for additional support and to improve blood flow.
  • Quit smoking, as it negatively affects blood circulation and overall vein health.
  • Follow medical advice and take prescribed medications to manage underlying vein conditions, such as venous insufficiency or deep vein thrombosis.
  • Regularly monitor your legs for any changes, and consult a vascular specialist if you notice any concerning symptoms.


Venous stasis ulcers are a serious consequence of venous insufficiency and other contributing factors. By understanding the causes of these ulcers and implementing preventive measures, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing them. Remember to prioritize your venous health and consult a qualified professional for personalized advice and treatment options.

venous stasis ulcer causes