Skip to Content

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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Margaret Doucette, DO - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Wound Care, Hyperbaric Medicine
Current as of August 9, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Classes & Events

  • Oct
    31
    Friday
    1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    An education and support group for women recently diagnosed with breast or gynecological cancer.
  • Nov
    3
    Monday
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    This beginner routine is suitable for anyone regardless of age, health, flexibility or previous experience.
  • Nov
    3
    Monday
    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    This orientation is intended to be a general information session on several of our popular weight management programs.

Section Links

Health Library