A pressure sore is defined as a skin injury brought about by continuous pressure. This is likely to occur if an individual lie on bed or sits on a chair for extended periods.
The pressure diminishes the blood supply to the skin. After some time, this leads to the breakdown of the skin and an open sore form.
The sores can range from reddened sites on the skin surface to significant tissue damage that involves the muscle, tendon or bone. A pressure sore is likely to develop on bony parts of the body such as the lower back, hips, heels and elbows. It can also form in the skin folds or where medical equipment places pressure on the skin.
- Limited or poor movement due to paralysis, spinal injuries, surgery or coma.
- Poor bowel or bladder function
- Inadequate nutrition especially protein in the diet
- Reduced level of alertness
- Aging process
- Certain health conditions that disrupts with healing such as diabetes
Care for a pressure sore
The treatment for a pressure sore is aimed on preventing it from worsening and making the skin healthy again. These measures can help with the healing of a pressure sore:
- Relieve the pressure off the affected area by changing positions regularly and distributing the body weight evenly with the help of specialized paddings, mattresses and other forms of support.
- Keep the pressure sore clean and protected with a bandage. The doctor will suggest the ideal bandage to use and instruct the individual to keep the wound slightly moist and not to let it fully dry out between changes.
- Make sure that the healthy tissue adjacent the pressure sore is kept dry and clean.
- A healthy diet should be supplemented with protein to allow healing of the skin.
Healing of the skin can be promoted by removal of the dead tissue from the pressure sore. Remember that the bacteria can multiply in the dead tissue and trigger an infection. Once infection develops, antibiotics are generally prescribed by the doctor.
In severe cases of pressure sores, the treatment typically requires surgery. A skin graft might be performed to allow the new skin to grow at the site of the pressure sore.