Chronic ulcers of the lower extremities are one of the most common medical problems encountered in western societies. The prevalence of leg ulcers is estimated to be 0.5-1.0% of the German population and is clearly associated with age. Therefore, in an aging society chronic leg ulcers are an important health issue with respect to increased morbidity and healthcare costs. The most frequent causes of leg ulcers are chronic venous insufficiency, peripheral arterial occlusive disease and diabetes mellitus. Efficient treatment necessitates an exact diagnosis and a close interdisciplinary collaboration. Affected patients often require instructions regarding self-help and support for competent nursing and prophylaxis. Therapeutic strategies, especially in the geriatric setting, aim to maintain the quality of life through preservation of patient mobility and autonomy.