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Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

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Venous Skin Ulcer: Debridement Topics

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:

  • Autolytic debridement, allowing the damaged or dead tissue to degenerate on its own by keeping the wound covered and moist. This may be done with dressings such as gels, foams, or films placed under a compression bandage.
  • Chemical debridement, breaking down dead tissue with an enzyme debriding agent.
  • Mechanical debridement, using gauze or using ultrasound and a saline mist.
  • Surgical debridement, using a scalpel or scissors to remove dead tissue.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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