Note: We must say that we are only trying to be a guide. Please do not take what is written here as the final word. Consult a health professional for more comprehensive information in relation to your personal needs.
Any person can get a pressure sore. Persons with reduced or no sensation such as spinal cord injury (SCI) victims are more susceptible.
Limited mobility can place pressure on an area for extended periods.
Moisture from bladder or bowel accidents can additionally help to cause skin breakdowns.
Excessive heat can cause skin irritations and breakdowns in skin folds.
Transfers with increased spasticity can cause the skin to graze.
Any redness that does not disappear within 30 minutes after the pressure is releases is a sign of the beginnings of a pressure area.
The Four Stages of Pressure Sores
Damage is limited to the top two layers of skin - the dermal and the epidermal. The skin is not broken, but the skin does not turn white or blanch (capillary refill) after touching.
Damage has extended beyond the top two layers to the adipose tissue. The skin is also now slightly broken. The sore appears to be an abrasion, blister or crater.
Damage has extended through the superficial layers of skin and adipose tissue down to and including the muscle. The ulcer appears to be a dark crater and other damage may be present.
Damage includes the destruction of the soft tissue and involves bone and/or joint structures.
Check your skin twice a day - once in the morning and once at night.
Use correct equipment - seat cushion, mattress, sheepskins, and pillows.
Move often - sitting for prolonged periods inhibits blood flow.
Eat a balanced diet.
Drink the recommended amounts of fluids - 8-10 glasses of water per day.
Protect your skin from harm.
Do not smoke - smoking decreases oxygen supply to the skin.
Do not abuse drugs or alcohol.
You should see a health professional for advice. The best treatment for the sore is to stay off the area affected. This may involve prolonged bed-rest.
See diagram below (click on image to enlarge).