Healing and Preventing Pressure Ulcers
What is a Pressure Ulcer (Sore)?
- Damaged area of the skin due to cut-off or decreased blood supply.
- Any lesion caused by unrelieved pressure resulting in damage of underlying tissue.
Who is at risk of developing a pressure sore?
- Anyone who sits or lies in one position for more than 2 hours.
- Anyone with a diagnosis of:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
What are the Most Common Areas on the Body for Pressure Ulcers?
The sacrum, hips, heels, and ankles are the most common areas where pressure ulcers develop.
How Can You Tell if you Have a Pressure Ulcer?
- There is localized redness/shininess in an area of the skin. It is sometimes hard and/or hot.
- You find a blister, pimple, or scab.
What can you do to Prevent a Pressure Ulcer?
- Inspect your skin frequently.
- Reposition yourself every 2 hours.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact.
- Keep your skin moist by using gentle soaps and drinking plenty of fluids.
What Should I do to keep my Skin Healthy?
- Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Water keeps the skin hydrated and plump and dilutes toxins that collect in the body.
- Eat a well-balanced diet (ChooseMyPlate.gov)
- Ensure an adequate intake of foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and zinc. These vitamins and minerals are important for your immune system and the formation of collagen in your skin and bones.
|Vitamin C||Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, and lemons), strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, potatoes, green and red peppers, or broccoli.|
|Vitamin A||Dark orange vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, or winter squash. Dark green vegetables: broccoli, spinach, or kale.|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acids||Fatty marine fish: salmon, mackerel, herring; flaxseed.|
|Zinc||Meat, liver, eggs, or seafood.|
- Consume adequate calories and protein. If the body does not get enough protein, its ability to repair damaged tissue is diminished. Eat 5-6 1/2 ounces of protein per day from the and 3 cups of dairy products per day. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about the different food groups.