What Are Pressure Sores and How Do They Affect Your Skin?


A pressure sore is a kind of injury that occurs on the skin-damaging the tissue under it. Pressure sores usually occur when you sit or lay down in the same position for a long time. What this does is that it breaks off the flow of blood in that particular area. This blocks the oxygen in the area which helps maintain the health of skin tissues. When the tissues don’t receive oxygen for a longer period of time this is when pressure sores occur.

Stages of pressure sores

Pressure sores are also referred to as pressure ulcers and also decubitus ulcers. Pressure sores occur in four main stages which range from slight skin damage and discoloration to severe skin damage and discoloration. Following are the stages of pressure sores:

Stage 1

In the first stage, the pressure sore starts to form. The skin is not broken however it is a little red and seems a little discolored. The best thing that you can do to protect your skin is to apply less pressure on the area where there is a sore. Take good care of your skin and wash it with mild soap and warm water. Always make sure to pat dry the area as water can also damage the diet. Add more vitamins and minerals to your diet that are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc and iron. These are some of the most important vitamins and minerals when it comes to skincare. See if you are not comfortable on your mattress you may shift to medical sheepskin mattresses.

Stage 2

What happens in this stage is that the skin is broken and forms a shallow sore. The first thing to do is to contact and visit your healthcare advisor so that you can get it checked up properly. You should clean your sore with a saline solution only and make sure to dry it properly. If you are applying gauze to your sore make sure to change it twice a day so as not to cause any infection. When changing the gauze see if the wound is healing. If you see signs of infection you should contact your health care provider to treat it.

Stage 3

The wound starts to get deeper and starts getting more severe. The severity is more as compared to stage 2. When the wound starts to get more severe you need to take proper care of it. You may need to use antibiotics or creams and oral pills to treat your sore. This would also help to heal the damage that occurs over time to your skin.

Stage 4

The sore starts to affect the muscles now and causes more damage to the skin. This can result in extreme pain and severe skin tissue damage. If this happens you might have to go into surgery in order to treat the sore.

How will you know if the sore is healing or not?

To know that your sore is healing you may look for the following signs:

  • The sore will shrink smaller in size
  • The skin would start to heal. Pink tissues start to form
  • You may face some bleeding. However, you should not be scared as this is a sign that blood circulation is improving in that area

Signs of trouble

You need to go to your healthcare provider if you see the following signs:

  • Increase in the size and drainage of the sore
  • Redness increases in that area followed by blackening of the area
  • The sore starts to smell
  • You might get a fever


You might face the following complications:

  • Pressure sores can be a threat to your life
  • These can be infectious and can spread to your heart, blood, and the bone
  • Dysreflexia

Reapplying pressure

When the pressure sore is healed completely pressure can be applied to that area again. This means that the skin of that particular area is also healed and is no more unbroken and the normal and original color of the skin has returned. Although the scar may remain that is no big deal. The skin might also be a little dark still. However, this can be healed if taken care of properly. When you start applying pressure do not apply it for more than 15-20 minutes.

This will help to increase resistance to your skin and help to avoid pressure sores from occurring in the future. If you’ve gone through surgery you may want someone to be there to take care of you and help you move around to avoid the occurrence of pressure sores due to the blockage of oxygen and blood flow. You need to keep moving to avoid further injury to the skin. Proper care should be taken.

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