What are skin ulcers?

Skin ulcers are as common as they are disabling. Ulcers can form on any area of the body where the blood vessels cannot properly nourish the skin. Ulcers are often painful, can be chronic, and are sometimes difficult to treat. To treat the ulcer, it is important to facilitate the skin’s natural healing processes by dressing the ulcer when necessary. However, it is crucial to address not only the ulcer, but the problems that led to its formation.

What are the symptoms of skin ulcers?

All skin ulcers cause pain. This is due to the deep layers of the epithelium being exposed to inflammation and irritation through mechanical, chemical or infectious trauma.

Skin ulcers include symptoms such as:

  • pain
  • swelling (edema)
  • Redness
  • bleeding

How to treat a skin ulcer

Cleanse the ulcer with a water-based antiseptic. Select gentle antiseptics such as benzalkonium chloride in aqueous solution. Avoid solutions containing chlorine or hydrogen peroxide as they can provoke irritation and, therefore, further pain.
Cover the ulcer with a cotton gauze soaked in PEG Balm. Using a cotton gauze allows the skin to breathe whilst protecting the ulcer from the external environment.
PEG Balm ensures the gauze does not adhere to the ulcer and absorbs exudates, which helps to reduce the risk of infection. The gauze and PEG Balm dressing should be changed once or twice a day until the ulcer has fully healed.

Further insights