These are ulcerations resulting from disorders other than those identified (diabetic, neuropathic, vascular, post-surgical), but related to them due to inflammation which is sometimes accompanied by pain.

They may be driven by ischemia, causing lower blood flow in the ulcerated area and therefore favouring the chronic condition of the ulcer, from prolonged bed rest, with the mechanical stress and pressure on the blood vessels proximal to the wound and the subsequent failure of circulation to the area, by obesity and being overweight, where a greater amount of fat tissue often leads to intertrigo, favouring the onset of wounds and ulcers.

The symptoms are the same as those seen with ulcers due to various causes. The following symptoms may arise, depending on various circumstances:

  • Skin ulcers
  • Reduction of skin and muscle mass
  • Foot calluses
  • Leg pain
  • Tired and heavy legs
  • Abnormal sensation in the limbs
  • Dry skin
  • Cold feet
  • Swelling of the limbs
  • Skin redness or changes in colour
  • Difficulty in walking

Ulcers of various origins which “do not heal”, have a huge impact on a large number of EU citizens and on the costs of EU health care systems. The prevalence of ulcers (all aetiologies included) is around 2% of the total population and 3.6% of the population over the age of 65. Pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers affect about 8% of hospitalised patients and between 15% and 25% are due to admittance to nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Those mainly affected are the elderly (75% of patients are over 75 years old). The variety of clinical conditions that occurs is very complex and differentiated. This type of chronic wound generally takes longer to heal, and the necessary care is enormously variable, as well as the healing time. It has been in fact estimated that in 76% of patients with ulcers, the healing time will be at least one year. There is an incidence of approximately 8.5 million pressure ulcers worldwide which require treatment each year. Other skin ulcers are caused by poor circulation, even without the complication of pressure. There are approximately 12.5 million venous ulcers, and approximately 13.5 million diabetic ulcers worldwide which require treatment. Chronic wounds are growing in incidence because of the increasing number of elderly people in the population and workload is increasing due to the need for more and better diagnosis and education of clinical staff thereof. Currently, these factors contribute to the growth in the number of patients suffering from complex ulcers faster than the new technologies are able to reduce the incidence of these chronic wounds and to promote their healing.

In Italy, chronic skin lesions affect:
From 500,000 to 2,000,000 people

The most frequent ulcers in Italy are:
Venous and pressure ulcers