Venous Ulcers


Full text NHG Guideline on Venous Ulcers (pdf)

Download free summary card (pdf)


The NHG Guideline Venous Ulcers provides recommendations for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a venous ulcer. A venous ulcer, which is also called an “open leg wound”, is a skin defect on the lower part of the leg – usually on the median side – extending into the subcutaneous layer or deeper with a poor tendency towards healing. The cause of a venous ulcer is chronic venous insufficiency.

The management of a venous ulcer, in particular compression therapy, can be well performed in primary care. Referral to a dermatologist is rarely necessary.

The guideline also applies to diabetes patients with a venous ulcer of the lower leg. Specific recommendations for treatment of a foot ulcer caused by diabetes or decubitus are presented in the NHG Guidelines on Diabetes Mellitus type 2 and Decubitus respectively. The treatment of a leg ulcer due to arterial, neurological (particularly diabetic neuropathy) and other conditions is not included in this guideline.


The guideline program of the College is designed for GPs in the context of the Dutch healthcare system. It makes no warranties concerning the efficacy of the guidelines used in other countries. The information is for educational and/or professional use only and is provided in good faith without any express or implied warranty. The College does not accept responsibility for any loss or damage occasioned by use of the information contained on the website nor from any access to the website. All access and use is at the risk of the end-user.

Additional information


Van Hof N, Balak FSR, Apeldoorn L, De Nooijer HJ, Vleesch Dubois V, Van Rijn-van Kortenhof



Revision Date

June 2010