What are Pressure Sores?
Pressure sores, commonly referred to as pressure ulcers or bedsores are a result of injury to the skin or underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure resulting in reduced blood supply to the affected area. Mild pressure sores can cause redness to skin in affected areas, and in severe untreated cases damage deep to the bone and muscle. Some can cause extreme infections that can be life threatening.
The most common areas affected by pressure sores are bonier areas such as the along the tailbone, spine, buttocks, hips, shoulders, elbows, ankles or between the knees where legs rub against each other.
Causes of Pressure Sores
With aging comes a change in skin. Skin becomes thinner, drier, less elastic and more prone to damage. People in the hospital with restricted mobility or confined to chair or bed are often at risk for developing bedsores. The main causes of pressure sores are:
- Restricted blood flow from constant pressure on skin and tissue
- Friction burns
Skincare Tips for Pressure Sores
- Change positions frequently to relieve pressure on skin and tissue
- Spread body weight evenly and avoid folding and twisting layers of skin
- Ensure sores are cleaned, dried carefully and covered
- Keep sheets and clothing clean
- Use a barrier cream with each cleaning to prevent and protect sores
If an infection develops it is important to see your physician for medical treatment.