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Leg ulcer

A leg ulcer is an open wound below the knee or on the foot which fails to heal after two weeks. It is unlikely to get better without treatment from a nurse or GP.


Poor circulation prevents wounds healing as quickly as they should. This can be the blood in your leg veins not returning to the heart efficiently, or arterial blood from your heart not reaching the wound as well as it should, or a mixture of both. If you have diabetes or rheumatoid disease you may be at increased risk of a leg ulcer.


If you have a wound on your leg which is not healing after two weeks, see your nurse or GP immediately. The sooner you have a full assessment and the wound is treated the better.


The most common sort of leg ulcer is a venous leg ulcer. This type responds very well to compression therapy, either in the form of bandages, leg ulcer hosiery kits or compression wrap systems. Once the ulcer has healed, the daily wearing of compression socks or tights makes the chance of it returning much less likely.