Bedsores, known in clinical terms as pressure or decubitus ulcers, are damage to the skin and its tissues from prolonged pressure on a certain area. They are most commonly found on "bony" areas of the skin, such as heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone.
Bedsores earned their name from being a common side effect in patients who are bed-ridden for medical reasons. Not seeking proper treatment when you recognize a bedsore can cause it to progress to a more serious stage of development. In the most severe cases, it turns into an open wound, with bones, joints, or tissues exposed.
Am I at Risk for Developing Bedsores?
Patients who are considered at-risk for developing bedsores either live with a condition that limits their ability to change positions, or lead a sedentary lifestyle, whether it be for medical reasons or not. These types of situations make for constant pressure on a specific part of the body. Without sufficient blood flow, these areas aren't being supplied with the levels of oxygen and nutrients essential to their function.
If you've noticed any of the following, you might be developing bedsores:
- changes in skin color or texture
- swelling and inflammation
- drainage (pus)
- skin that feels warmer/cooler than the surrounding area