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Br J Community Nurs. 2015 Dec;20 Suppl 12:S8-S13. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2015.20.Sup12.S8.

Aetiology and management of atrophie blanche in chronic venous insufficiency.

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Year 4 Medical Student, Cardiff University, Wales.
Senior Lecturer, Wound Healing Research Unit, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Wales.


The presence of chronic venous insufficiency results in venous hypertension, which can lead to the development of venous leg ulceration. Patients often present with oedema of the lower limb and skin changes, for example, the presence of haemosiderin and lipodermatosclerosis, as well as ulceration. In some instances, patients can also develop atrophie blanche (AB)-white fibrotic areas on the skin adjacent to the ulcer. AB remains an ambiguous term owing to the use of many synonyms. Hence, health professionals need to be aware of the clinical presentation of AB and should be able to clearly differentiate between scarring caused by previous ulcers and that caused by the presence of AB. In this article, the authors discuss the underlying diseases associated with AB and explore the treatment of AB in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.


atrophie blanche; haemosiderin; leg ulcer; vascular disease; venous insufficiency

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