A varicose ulcer is a sore which develops on the leg due to poor circulation of blood in the lower limb. The ulcer is usually located on the inner side of the leg, just above the ankle. There are valves in the veins of the legs that allow one-way blood flow from legs to the heart. Venous ulcers (open sores) occur when the veins in the legs do not push blood back up to the heart as they should due to which the blood backs up in the veins, building up the pressure, weakening the overlying skin on the top. If not treated, increased pressure and excess fluid in the affected area can cause an open sore to form. This type of wound can be slow to heal. The top homeopathic remedies for varicose ulcer are Acidum Fluoricum, Calendula Officinalis, Carbo Veg, Lachesis Muta, Pulsatilla, Arnica, and Calc. Carb.
Homeopathic Remedies for Varicose Ulcer
Conventional treatments for treating leg ulcers usually involve getting rid of the diseased tissue and any callused skin. This form of treatment relies on keeping the wound clean with regular dressings but does not accelerate healing time and is also troublesome. Antibiotics may also be used if the ulcer becomes infected, but they don’t help ulcers to heal. However, unless the underlying cause of the ulcer is addressed, there’s a high risk of a venous leg ulcer recurring after treatment so Homeopathy can be a great supportive therapy in such conditions by focusing on the symptoms of itching, burning, and pain in the ulcer along with strengthening the body’s immunity and self-healing capacity for gradual healing of the ulcer to prevent its reoccurrence.
1. Acidum Fluoricum
Acidum Fluoricum is a remedy used to treat a number of health conditions like those that have an impact on the fibrous tissues like the bones and veins. Such conditions may include pain in the varicose veins and other more severe ailments like bone tumors. In addition, this medicine is an effective remedy to prevent the decay of teeth.
Fluoric acid is made from the chemical condensation of calcium fluoride. In this case, the veins have a tendency to become distended. The ulcers may cause immense pain and the condition, as well as pain, is likely to worsen when the individual keeps standing for prolonged periods. The ulcers have red edges and there may be the formation of vesicles. Itching with a burning sensation, a swollen leg, and relief upon using cold compress are some of the symptoms indicating towards the remedy.
2. Calendula Officinalis
Calendula Officinalis is a medicine used to treat varicose ulcers with copious pus discharge. It is made from a cultivated perennial herb Marigold of the family Compositae. Inflammation, stinging sensation and pain in the ulcer which is deep, red with ragged edges, lead to this medicine. This medicine is also used as a preventive measure against gangrene formation. The remedy has anti-inflammatory properties corresponding to its main action in injuries and inflammations.
3. Carbo Vegetabilis
Carbo Veg is used to treat varicose ulcers that bleed easily, even on the slightest touch. This remedy is made from vegetable charcoal of the family Fagaceae. The ulcer has a mottled purple color appearance and the skin surrounding it feels tense. There is burning pain in the ulcer along with foul-smelling pus discharge. Carbo Veg, corresponding to its source, is well known for its ability to absorb the toxins in the body with a tendency towards burning sensations and pains in the body.
Other Important Remedies
4. Lachesis Muta
Lachesis Muta is a medicine used to treat varicose ulcers which are sensitive to touch. There may be a thin, offensive discharge from the ulcers. The surface of the ulcer is uneven and looks dirty, purplish. Bluish-blackish skin may surround the ulcer. There may be a burning sensation in the ulcers mostly at night. This medicine is indicated for varicose ulcers that arise as a result of an injury.
5. Pulsatilla Nigricans
Pulsatilla is used to treat varicose ulcers with itching. The ulcer looks red and is hard to touch. Symptoms like smarting, shooting pain, burning, stinging and excoriating sensation in the ulcer that gets better on exposure to open air, are the key symptoms indicating towards the remedy. In some cases, a greenish-yellowish discharge may also be seen.
6. Arnica Montana
Arnica relieves pain, bruising and swelling of the varicose ulcers associated with trauma or overexertion.
7. Calcarea Carb
Varicose ulcers that hurt while the person is standing or walking respond to the remedy Calc. Carb. People who need this remedy often have a poor blood circulation with an associated sensation of chilliness.
Causes of Ulcer Formation
The veins in our legs have one-way valves that keep blood flowing up toward your heart. When these valves become weak, blood can flow backward and gets accumulated in the legs. This is called Venous Insufficiency. The excess fluid causes the blood pressure to build up. The increase in pressure and buildup of fluid prevents nutrients and oxygen from getting to the tissues. The lack of nutrients causes the cells to die, damaging the tissue, and thus forming a wound (sore).
Different risk factors predispose a person towards the formation of varicose ulcers. The factors include conditions like the presence of Varicose veins, history of blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis), blockage of the lymph vessels, Older age, more common in females, or being tall, in conditions of Obesity, Pregnancy. Smoking is also a factor that can put a person to risk and so can sitting or standing for long hours. A family history of venous insufficiency is another risk factor seen. Fractures of long bones in the leg or other serious injuries, such as burns or muscle damage also increase the risk.
These risk factors are important and taken into consideration before the prescription of suitable remedies.
Signs and Symptoms
When blood pools in the veins of the lower limb, fluid and blood cells leak out into the skin and other tissues. This can cause itchy, thin skin and lead to skin changes called stasis dermatitis. This is an early sign of venous insufficiency. The sign of a varicose ulcer is an ulcer on the leg, near the ankle with shallow sore and a red base, sometimes covered by a yellow tissue with unevenly shaped borders. The surrounding skin may be shiny, tight, warm or hot, and discolored. Symptoms of leg pain, itching and burning can be troublesome. If the sore becomes infected, it may be offensive and pus may drain from the wound.
Other early signs include:
Leg swelling with heaviness and cramping.
Dark red, purple or brownish skin with hardening (this is a sign of blood pooling in the area)
Tingling sensation in the area.
Other Types of Leg Ulcers
Other common types of leg ulcers include:
Arterial leg ulcers- caused by the poor blood circulation in the arteries.
Diabetic leg ulcers -caused by high blood sugar associated with diabetes.
Vasculitic leg ulcers -associated with chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis & lupus.
Traumatic leg ulcers -caused by any trauma to the leg.
Malignant leg ulcers -caused by a tumor of the skin of the leg.
The basic instructions to wound care for people at risk of developing an ulcer are as follows:
- Always keep the wound clean to prevent any infection.
- Keep the dressing and the skin around it dry. Try not to get the healthy tissue around the wound too wet as it can soften the healthy tissue, causing the wound to get bigger in size.
- Before applying a dressing, cleanse the wound thoroughly.
- Protect the skin around the wound by keeping it clean and moisturized.
To help treat a venous ulcer, blood flow to the legs needs to be improved for which we need to: –
- Wear compression stockings or bandages every day. They help prevent the blood from collecting, thus reducing swelling, pain and helping with healing.
- Lying down with the feet elevated up on pillows which improve the circulation.
Some warning signs of infection which need immediate assistance are:-
- Redness increased warmth or swelling around the wound.
- More drainage than before or drainage that is yellowish.
- Bleeding from the ulcer.
- Bad Odor from the wound.
- Fever or chills.
- Increased intensity of pain.
Lifestyle Management and Prevention
Lifestyle changes can help prevent venous ulcers. The following measures may help improve blood flow and aid healing:
- Quit smoking, as it is bad for the blood vessels.
- In diabetes, keeping the blood sugar level under control will help heal faster.
- Exercising much helps with the blood flow.
- Eating healthy foods and with a proper sleep routine.
- Lose weight in cases of obesity.
- Managing the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.