A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that occurs when the leg veins don’t return blood back toward the heart the way they should. This is called venous insufficiency. These ulcers usually form on the sides of the lower leg, above the ankle and below the calf. Venous skin ulcers are caused by poor blood circulation from the legs. Your veins have one-way valves that keep blood flowing toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves are damaged, and blood backs up and pools in the vein. Fluid may then leak out of the vein and into the surrounding tissue and may lead to a breakdown of the tissue and an ulcer. To diagnose venous insufficiency (as opposed to ulcers caused by arterial disease or neuropathy), ultrasound imaging is used to make the correct diagnosis. If you have questions about a leg wound that won’t heal, call us to set up a free vein screening to assist you in determining how to proceed.