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What are the symptoms of arterial ulcers?
Arterial ulcers often form on the outer side of the ankle, feet, heels, or toes. They can form in other areas, too. These ulcers are painful and have a “punched out” appearance.
Other symptoms or characteristics of arterial ulcers include:
- red, yellow, or black sores
- deep wound
- tight, hairless skin
- leg pain at night
- no bleeding
- affected area is cool or cold to touch from minimal blood circulation
- leg reddens when dangled and turns pale when elevated
What is the primary cause of arterial ulcers?
Poor blood circulation is the primary cause of arterial ulcers. When there is reduced blood flow, skin and tissues in the affected areas are deprived of oxygen and necessary nutrients. These affected areas become inflamed and form an open wound. If not treated the ulcer can cause skin and tissue to die (necrosis). Though ulcers can form anywhere on the body, arterial ulcers are more commonly found on the legs and feet.
Other potential causes of arterial ulcers include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- kidney failure
- atherosclerosis, or thickening of the arteries