Leg Ulcers in the Elderly are a frequently occuring problem due to underlying medical complications. This can be triggered by such diseases as diabetes or a malfunction of the venous valves in the leg, besores or other causes. The skin becomes dry and brittle and easily injured. Such normal actions such as lying down, walking, shoes or wearing clothing can rub and injure the skin easily. A simple bruise or blister can fester and become infected.
Regardless of the cause, the affected area becomes infected, frequently with an antibiotic resistant form of bacteria and won’t heal in a normal manner due to the restricted blood circulation in the leg area. Normal immune responses or antibiotics are unable to access the area due to the lack of circulation.
The ulcer can fester eating into the underlying tissue and muscle even penetrating right down to the bones.
Because of the underlying circulatory problems antibiotics (even if the bacteria aren’t resistant) can’t get to the infected area to help with the healing. Similarily topical (applied on skin) treatments generally fail because they don’t penetrate into the ulcerated skin far enough to aid in the healing. These conditions have become serious enough that the infections are killing more people than AIDS and some 85% of all limb amputations are caused by these ulcers growing out of control and becoming gangrenous. These can be a serious threat to the life and health of an elderly person.
Their susceptibility is increased as the underlying diseases escalate.
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