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Varicose Ulcers are wounds that are thought to occur due to improper functioning of Venous valves, usually of the legs. They are the major occurrence of chronic wounds, occurring in 70% to 90% of leg Ulcer cases. Venous Ulcers develop mostly along the medial distal leg and can be painful with negative effects on quality of life. They are also known as stasis Ulcer or venous ulcers and are most commonly seen in the female population.

The pathogenesis starts with persistently increased intravenous pressure which damages the venous walls and results in stretching, loss of elasticity, hyper lipodermatosclerosis, and finally ulcer formation.

Risk Factors

  • Deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in the deep veins of the legs
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Chronic constipation
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Work that requires many hours of standing

Signs & Symptoms

  • Moderate pain, which improves on elevation (unlike arterial ulcers which worsen with elevation)
  • Irregular, sloping edges
  • Skin that turns dark red or purple over the area where the blood is leaking out of the vein.
  • The skin also may become thick, dry, and itchy.
  • Associated Oedema, due to increased hydrostatic pressure
  • Localized loss of skin pigmentation due to death of erythrocytes and scarring
  • Lipodermatosclerosis, a hardening of the skin
  • Associated superficial varicose veins or "ankle flare", a collection of small, dark, engorged superficial vein

Ayurvedic Treatment

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From an Ayurvedic perspective, Varicose Ulcers can be correlated with “Siragata Janya Vrana’. The main line of treatment is Pittavata samanam, Sophagnam, and Vranasodhana Ropana dravya prayoga. Procedures like Abhyanga, Virechana, Rakthamokshana, etc. are described in Ayurveda. Acharya Sushruta has exclusively mentioned the treatment regime for ‘Siragata Vata’ which includes local oleation and fomentation along with Jalookavacharanam( Leech therapy), which is the most effective method of bloodletting. He has given the utmost importance to Bloodletting therapy and considered Leech as the most unique, effective method of bloodletting even in infected wounds and in abscess management. References of indication of Leech applications has Antiinflammatory action on nerves. Sushruta has advocated 60 procedures (Shashthi Upakramas) for wound management which can be practiced as per the stage of wound and necessity.

The ayurvedic management of Varicose Ulcer at Samwarthika Ayurveda Hospital in Kerala involves evaluation of patient according to the condition of patient and imbalance of dosha avastha. The treatment of each patient is personalized on individual body types and the severity of the disease. We also recommend a balanced ayurvedic diet and lifestyle changes which should be followed by the patient to prevent the recurrence of the disease.