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Alleviating Bed Sores Can Be Done

By Marie Santangelo, Staff Writer

(Page 1 of 3)

Pressure sores are also known as decubitus ulcers and occur in patients who have little or no mobility allowing them to change positions and relieve the pressure on the body. Sores can develop over time and may be diagnosed in “grades” of progression. Prevention is the best method of dealing with anything that compromises our health, but bedsores can be alleviated efficiently when they are addressed in early stages.

Muscles and fat pad the body, distributing pressure in a more even fashion. Our natural fidgeting from one side of the body to another helps also. In folks who have little or no “natural” padding, and who are paralyzed or bedridden, the pressure is more direct and wears away at the skin. Skin can also become very strained when the bone moves one way and the fleshy portion moves in another.
As we age, skin becomes thinner and prone to breakage. If there is prolonged pressure on an area, when the individual changes position, the skin may “slip” and a small tear results.

Nerve impairment makes for diminished sensation, and the individual may have difficulty assessing whether a given area is more sensitive than another. Over time, skin breakdown occurs, unless someone is checking the skin at regular intervals.

Bedsores don’t just develop from the outside route, although that is the main contributor. External pressure that is consistent will leave anyone with soreness, and even a mark. But there is activity going on under the skin, too. Circulation changes when pressure is applied, which hampers the ability of the body’s tissues to “bounce back” both literally and figuratively.

Simple Solutions

If your loved one is less than mobile, or must be in bed full time, you can monitor their skin integrity. This will help in identifying possible areas of skin breakdown, as well as areas that have already become sensitive.

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