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Wound Snapshot: Vasculitic Ulcers

Section Editor(s): Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN

Advances in Skin & Wound Care: December 2003 - Volume 16 - Issue 7 - p 335

An overview of chronic wound characteristics.

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Predisposing Factors/Cause

Often accompanied by history of recurrence; almost always accompanied by connective tissue disease and systematic inflammatory conditions

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Location and Depth

Below malleolus-foot dorsum; shallow in depth

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Wound Bed and Wound Appearance




Typically arise from small reddened areas that continue to increase in size; necrotic with marked vascularity; wound bed contains mixed necrotic and red granulation tissue

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Exudate amount varies

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Wound Shape and Margins

Irregular, blistering edge; purple-red, hemorrhagic, “angry looking” intense surrounding erythema

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Surrounding Skin

Hyperemic; characterized by atrophie blanche, livedo reticularis, and purpura; often accompanied by hyperpigmentation

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Often accompanied by severe pain at rest, numbness, paresthesias

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Must control the inflammatory process and establish adequate circulation to heal

Photo: Baranoski S, Ayello E. Wound Care Essentials: Practice Principles. Springhouse, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.