BEST PRACTICES

How do you distinguish the 3 most common lower extremity wounds? Share these educational posters with your team

Lower extremity wounds come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be caused by a variety of disease states. In the United States, it’s estimated that up to 13 percent of the population has one, and together they cost the healthcare system more than $20 billion.1

You’ve likely seen a lot of these chronic wounds. But three are most common: venous leg ulcers, arterial wounds and diabetic foot ulcers.

Distinguishing among these common lower extremity wounds can sometimes be challenging, which is why these three educational posters have been specially designed for quick-glance identification.

13%
of Americans have
a lower extremity wound1
2.5 million
Americans with
a venous wound1
25%
Diabetics who will get
a diabetic foot ulcer1

Common lower extremity wounds

Venous wounds

Arterial wounds

Diabetic foot ulcers

Venous wounds occur most often, affecting 2.5 million Americans each year.1 Venous disease is typically caused by problems with the veins of the legs, which may lead to abnormally high pressure in the superficial veins. That pressure can lead to capillary leakage and tissue damage.2

Arterial wounds are the second most common. They’re generally caused by the lack of blood flow and oxygenation to areas farthest from the heart, including the toes and the front part of the foot.1

Diabetic foot ulcers are third in prevalence. About 25 percent of patients with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer at some point.1 These wounds are caused primarily by the presence of angiopathy and neuropathy. Angiopathy leads to abnormal blood flow to the extremity. Neuropathy can cause a lack of protective sensation to the foot, which could result in trauma and injury. Another contributing factor is the abnormal response diabetics have to infection.3

Treating lower extremity wounds

As with any chronic wound, using evidence-based best practices can empower you to do the right thing for your patients. There are many ways to approach treatment, but to organize and remember the steps, the pneumonic DIMES comes in handy. It stands for debridement, infection/inflammation, moisture management, edge/environment, and support products and services.

Key takeaway

Lower extremity wounds can be difficult to treat. The best place to start is by learning how to identify each wound correctly. Then follow up with the right protocols and products to help your patients’ wounds heal. Download these 3 educational posters to sharpen your wound care expertise and share with your peers.

A system of products to help care for lower extremity wounds

Consider products with innovative features that make it easier for you to do the right thing to help moisturize dry skin and manage lower extremity wounds.

Compression therapy: COMPRECARES takes the guesswork out of achieving the right compression. Two key features:
  • Specially designed AccuTabs.
  • Fabric wicks away moisture to help avoid skin damage.
Moisturizing skin care: Enlivaderm Hydrating Serum is part of the color-coded Remedy skin care system. It is a urea product that helps by:
  • Attracting moisture and keeping moisture in the skin.
  • Gently exfoliatating.
  • Smoothing and conditioning extreme rough, dry and scaly areas of the foot that can lead to fissures and cracking.
Advanced wound care: FDA-cleared PluroGel is a highly concentrated surfactant gel that helps make wounds more receptive to healing by:
  • Hydrating wounds.
  • Soften exudate for easy removal.
  • Providing gentle loosening and softening of necrotic tissue.
In addition, IoPlex foam dressing helps manage the wound by providing controlled release of iodine, a proven antibacterial.