How Do Pressure Ulcers And Sores Occur

How Do Pressure Ulcers And Sores Occur And What You Can Do to Prevent Them

What Are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores are often know as pressure ulcers, but they are exactly the same thing - an injury that affects areas of skin and the underlying tissue, which can often vary in terms of severity, ranging from small patches of skin that just looks sore right the way through to big open wounds that are extremely painful for the sufferer. 

Although pressure sores can develop on almost any area of the body, the most common areas of attack are most frequently on the:

  • Buttocks
  • Back Of Head
  • Ankles
  • Heels
  • Elbows
  • Back
  • Shoulder / Shoulder Blades
  • Spine
  • Ears

Because pressure sores have different levels of severity they are often graded to show how serious or significant they area, with the scale ranging from 1 to 4, with 1 being the least serious and 4 being the most serious pressure sore.

The higher the grade of the sore then the more chance there is of the sufferer or patient getting an infection or complication, because these types of sores are usually the ones that are open wounds and usually have the most tissue damage.

How Do You Get Pressure Sores?

Our skin gets thinner with age increasing the risk of a tear through friction (shearing).

Pressure sores basically occur when you lay or sit down for long periods of time without much movement, which is why they are most often found on hospital patients or people that suffer from a lack of mobility. 

As you can probably tell from the name, these sores occur when pressure is applied to the skin for long periods of time, which is why people that are frequently in their bed or a wheel chair will often suffer with these sores which if left untreated can develop into really serious and painful instances.

It is true to say that pressure sores are very, very common but because most people who suffer from them are already in some kind of medical care, they are not really talked about. You rarely find pressure sores on healthy people because they are usually moving constantly and will not be still or laid down for long periods, meaning that there is usually little pressure on their skin which means pressure sores do not develop.  

What Can You Do To Prevent Pressure Sores?

There are quite a few things that you can do to prevent pressure sores, ranging from changing body position right the way through to using specialised pressure care products which are designed to stop sores affecting people.

It is important that anyone who is restricted to a bed or a wheel chair has their position changed frequently and regularly, because this is one of the most effective things that you can do to stop pressure sores affecting a patient. By turning them over or making them sit up, you will be able to reduce the constant pressure on an area of skin, which in turn will help to stop these ulcers occurring.

There are also ranges of specialist care products on the market, some of which have been designed and manufactured based on the experience of sufferers which make these products ideal for those who are worried about getting these kinds of sores. 

Occupational therapists, specialist physiotherapists and tissue viability nurses will offer advice.