Living with pressure sores is never a pleasurable experience. If you are at risk of developing them, or you are taking care of someone who could be at risk, get informed about stress sores to avoid developing these uncomfortable injuries.
This guide will tell you the best ways to prevent and care for pressure sores.
Exactly what are pressure sores and what causes them?
Pressure sores are also described as mattress sores, pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers. They are formed when constant pressure on part of the skin causes the blood vessels feeding that part to shut down. At first, this causes a red or dark patch around the skin. As further pressure will be applied, the skin continues to deteriorate, wearing down to form blisters and dead epidermis, and then going on to affect underlying cells, bones and joints.
Pressure sores can appear on any part of the body, but will usually develop on components most susceptible to pressure when sitting or lying down, e. g., the lower back, buttocks, shoulders, hips, pumps, knees and ankles.
In general, those who are bed-bound or in wheelchairs are usually particularly susceptible to developing bed pressure sores. Other factors that increase the likelihood of developing these sores include senior years, immobility, incontinence, malnutrition and lacks, diseases that slow healing, mental disorders that result in a lack of awareness about the body’s condition and the taking associated with certain medications such as sedatives.
How will I know if I have a pressure aching?
There are four stages of severity in the development of a pressure aching.
– Initially, you may find it appears as being a red area of skin (or a darker area of skin than normal on darker skins). It is a mark that doesn’t disappear after a few hours and may also feel tender. Sometimes, the initial appearance of a pressure tender may appear like a bruise – violet in color and painful to the touch.
– The second stage may include the partial loss of skin that may appear as a blister, shallow crater or abrasion.
– The third stage associated with severity involves a full skin reduction which extends to the underlying skin tissue.
– The last stage involves an overall total skin loss and the sore extends to the underlying tissue, muscle and bone.
How do I treat existing sores?
Correctly caring for your existing pressure sore is the best way to promote healing and prevent it from becoming more severe. You may be caring for your pressure sores your self or have a caregiver who cares for them, but it is always best to be informed about the process. Here are four major steps that need to be followed:
one Pressure relief
Continuing to place pressure on an existing pressure sore will aggravate the sore and prevent this from healing. Instead, it is essential to relieve the area from any form of pressure.
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If possible invest in a pressure-reliving mattress or even pressure relieving aids such as pads to help you.
2 . Cleaning
Pressure sores will heal well if they are held clean and it will also ensure the prevention of infection. This means they should be free of dead tissues, have excess fluid drained away from the sore and should also be clear of any other debris. A health care professional ought to show you how to clean or wash the sore and also how to wipe away any loose material. The right equipment and methods should be used too. If too much force is utilized, it can aggravate the sore or even if not enough force is used, the wound may not be cleansed properly.
3. Removing dead tissue
Dead tissue which is present in the pressure aching can lead to infection and prevent the sore from healing. Your health care professional will usually carry out the process of removing the dead tissue. Since it may be painful, a pain-reliever may be taken beforehand. Procedures that may be used can range through simply rinsing the sore to applying enzyme medications to dissolve the dead tissue. In uncommon cases, surgery to remove deeply inlayed dead tissue may be required.
It is important to choose the right dressings to care for your pressure sores. Confer with your healthcare professional about the different types available. You will need different types depending on the type that will greatest aid healing, how often the dressing up needs to be changed and whether or not the painful is infected. Dressings are normally necessary to keep the sore moist and the encircling skin dry.
What else must i know?
When cleaning your sores, it is a good time to check for symptoms that it is healing well. Ideally, you need to see signs of a sore recovery within 2 to 4 weeks. Including seeing a decrease in the size plus depth of a sore and a decrease in drainage.
Also, you should look out for any signs that the sore has become contaminated as the infection can spread towards the underlying tissues, bones and even towards the rest of the body. Signs of infection include having think green or yellowish drainage, a foul odor, inflammation, warmth or tenderness surrounding the particular sore and swelling. Watch out for indications of fever, chills, weakness, confusion, difficulty concentrating and rapid heart beat that can indicate the infection might have spread throughout the body. If you are concerned and experience any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.