Leg ulcers are frequent. There are no epidemiological studies available in France, but
international studies estimate the prevalence between 0.045 and 0.63% of the total
population, prevalence increases with age, reaching 5% of patients over 80 years.
Extrapolating these prevalences in the French population between 28 000 and 395 000 people
are affected in France a leg ulcer.
It is a costly disease. In 2001, a French study conducted among 800 physicians, including
85.7% of general practitioners, involving more than 1000 patients with venous ulcers, it was
estimated that the total cost of treatment per patient average was 888 32 euros. This is
truly a public health problem.
Leg ulcers are in 80% of cases of vascular causes (venous, arterial or arteriovenous mixed).
However, there are rare causes of ulcers: skin carcinoma, infectious ulcers and vasculitis.
These ulcers rare causes require specific treatments that can often heal. To diagnose, to
perform a skin biopsy. Thus, the general practitioner must know when to put the indication
for biopsy of a leg ulcer.