Pressure ulcers are also known as decubitus, pressure sores or bedsores, which is an open wound on the skin, commonly seen on the skin covering bony areas. Pressure ulcers can develop in any parts of the body but most common in hip, heel, elbow, back, buttocks and ankles.

This condition is quite common among older people, people with restricted movements, those confined to bed or wheelchair, such as the differently abled, for longer periods of time. Continuous pressure is the main cause of pressure ulcers, however other factors like moisture, poor blood circulation, poor hygiene, and lack of essential nutrients in regular diet are other causative factors for decubitus.

pressure ulcer symptoms

Symptoms

Skin discolouration

Pain and feeling of warmth under the skin patches, like in psoriasis

Itchiness in distressed regions of skin, such as in folliculitis

Infection

Open wound or blister

Skin becomes softer or harder to touch

Diagnosis And Treatment

Pressure ulcers are generally diagnosed based on several factors which include the size and intensity of the ulcers, regions where the ulcer is affected -skin, muscle or bone, discolouration of the skin, any tissue injury or death and severity of ulcers such as strong odour, infection and bleeding. Doctors may also send samples of tissues and fluids to determine any bacterial growth.

Treatment usually depends upon the stage and severity of ulcer which includes proper wound dressing, treating the root cause for ulcer. Pain reducing medications, antibiotics and antibacterial drugs may also be prescribed to ward off the bacteria causing ulcer. Patients are also advised to frequently change the sitting or lying position to reduce further pressure and friction of the body.

In severe cases it may require surgery and also the doctor may suggest doing debridement process to remove the dead tissues. Patients are also advised to keep the area clean, dry and free of any irritant agents and go for frequent dressing.

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