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Whatare Pressure Sores

Pressuresores, also known more colloquially as bed sores or medically asdecubitus ulcers, are created by constant pressure on an area of theskin, wounding the skin and the sub-dermal tissue. These injuries canhappen anywhere on the body, but are most common where there is amore rigid area of the skin or where there is bone close to the skinsurface, such as at the elbows, knees, etc. Any kind of weight on asmall area of skin can cause pressure sores if the weight is constantfor long enough.

Thereare two main causes for pressure sores. The first is, naturally,continual pressure on an area of skin, which can restrict the flow ofblood to the tissue beneath the skin. Skin and sub-dermal tissuedamage can occur quite quickly, within a couple of hours of constantpressure.

Thesecond cause is what is known as shearing, where the skin issubjected to forceful friction, removing the top layer of the skinand causing a burning sensation.

Pressuresores begin subtly, usually with a simple discolouration of the skin.The skin becomes redder and may also feel more rigid and there might be a localised itchiness or pain in thearea. The sore will worsen over time and the skin will eventuallybreak or cave in slightly. After that, the cave in will grow deeperand wider, becoming a sort of a crater and affecting the layer of fatbeneath the skin. If the sore gets worse, it may extend down to themuscle or the bone and the hole in the skin will widen.

Preventionof Pressure Sores

Theprevention of bed sores is much easier than trying to heal anexisting one. Rubbing the skin is not advised, as this can aggravatethe injury. It is advised to check the skin multiple times per day todetect pressure sores early. The skin should be kept quite dry as anykind of bodily moisture increases the chance of pressure sores. Also,the skin should be kept as clean as possible, using gentle pressureto wash the skin around the areas that are prone to these sores.Moisturising the skin with lotions can help prevent it from dryingout and cracking.

Peoplewho are prone to pressure sores can keep a record of what ishappening with their skin, including any suspected beginnings ofpressure sores and details of previous skin conditions. This can helpdoctors when they are diagnosing or treating pressure sores.

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