Compression bandages may lead to toe ulcers

Patients with leg ulcers treated with compression bandaging may end up with severe and completely new ulcers on their toes and feet.

What’s more, say British researchers, the ulcers which may result from using four layers of compression bandages (instead of the usual three) are unlike other skin ulcers. They do not appear to be caused by fungi or bacteria and are resistant to the usual cures.

In a study of 194 patients treated for venous leg ulcers over a 10-year period, 12 developed severe toe and foot ulcers, perhaps due to the increased compression leading to a lack of oxygen in the tissues. In addition, all of the patients developed distorted toes after bandaging.

The ulcers improved on bedrest with the feet elevated, but recurred within a few weeks. One patient had to have his toes amputated (BMJ, 2001; 323: 1099).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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