Venous Ulcer Specialist

Nellestein Vein Institute

Michael E. Nellestein, M.D.

Vein Specialist located in Saint Joseph, MO

Venous ulcers can form when you have serious chronic vein insufficiency and visible varicose veins as a result. At Nellestein Vein Institute, vein specialist Dr. Michael Nellestein provides treatment for these slow-healing wounds and the underlying vein disease that causes them. If you live in Saint Joseph, Missouri, or the greater Northwest Missouri region, call the office or use the online booking agent to make an appointment and improve the health of your legs and veins.

Venous Ulcer Q & A

What are venous ulcers?

Venous ulcers are open sores that occur around varicose veins. Varicose veins result when faulty valves and vein walls fail to push blood back to the heart and the blood pools. The pressure from these veins can eventually cause the surrounding tissue to die and an ulcer to form.


What are the indications that an ulcer may develop?

If you have significant varicosity in your legs, characterized by ropey, puffy, purplish-blue veins, you are at risk of eventually developing ulcers. As the pressure from the veins pushes against your skin, the area may become itchy and the dermis thin. Other early signs of venous ulcers include:

  • Dark red or purple skin that’s hardened
  • Cramping, heaviness, and swelling in your legs
  • Skin near or over the vein that’s shiny, tight, and warm


How can I prevent venous ulcers from forming?

If you have an underlying vein disease, Dr. Nellestein can offer treatments that cause varicosity to regress, including sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation. This prevents your condition from worsening to the point of developing ulcers. You can also take lifestyle steps to reduce the severity of your varicose veins. These include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Controlling your blood sugar levels if you’re diabetic
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels


How do I care for a venous ulcer?

Dr. Nellestein has the expertise to diagnose and treat the underlying venous problems — including chronic venous insufficiency — leading to improved healing rates and lower recurrence of these ulcers. He can also help you care for active ulcers, in conjunction with a wound care clinic. It’s important to keep the open sores clean and bandaged to prevent infection. Other care strategies include:

  • Keeping the wound and area around it dry
  • Moisturizing and cleaning the area around the wound regularly
  • Cleaning the wound and changing the dressing often


Dr. Nellestein may also recommend you wear compression stockings over the bandaged ulcer. Elevate the affected leg whenever you’re seated to discourage blood pooling and swelling.

If you have open sores on your legs associated with varicose veins, call Nellestein Vein Institute or book an online appointment to help with management of any underlying vein disease and reduce the frequency of these ulcers.