Venous Skin Ulcer: Debridement - Topic Overview
A venous skin ulcer is a shallow wound that typically happens on the lower leg. It is caused by slowed blood circulation called venous insufficiency.
To help your skin ulcer heal, your doctor may also remove dead tissue from the wound. This is called debridement.
With debridement, your doctor removes any dead or
poorly healing tissue from the surface of a skin ulcer.
Debridement methods include:
allowing the damaged or dead tissue to degenerate on its own by keeping the
wound covered and moist, with or without special dressings. This includes:
- The traditional gauze and zinc oxide
compression bandage (called an Unna boot), wrapped around the lower leg, which
hardens as it dries and can be left on for up to 10 days.
- Dressings under a
compression bandage, including gels, foams,
hydrocolloids, or films.
Chemical debridement, breaking down dead tissue with an enzyme debriding agent.
Mechanical debridement, using ultrasound and a saline mist.
Surgical debridement, using
a scalpel or scissors to remove dead tissue.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 31, 2011
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