Sickle Cell Ulcers

Incidence of leg ulcers in patients with Sickle Cell disease (SCD) ranges from 25.7% to 75%.

Sickle Cell leg ulcers occur more often on the inside of the ankle than the outside but they can also happen on the foot and the back of the heel over the Achilles.

Sickle ulcers are round, “punched-out” looking, and usually covered with rubbery-like dead tissue. Sickle ulcers are VERY PAINFUL.

Even when they heal (and they are hard to heal), nearly all of them (97%) will come back in less than 1 year.

Hydroxyurea can cause leg ulcers. Since many people with Sickle cell disease need to be on this medication, sometimes it is not clear whether the leg ulcer is due to the medication or the sickle cell disease.

Factors that make a person more likely to get a sickle cell ulcer include:

  • Being older than 20 years
  • Being Male
  • Having a hemoglobin level less than 6 g/dL
  • Having antithrombin III deficiency
Sickle Cell Ulcer
Sickle Cell Ulcer on the inside ankle.
Sickle Cell Ulcer
Sickle Cell Ulcer