What Are Bedsores and Where Can They Form on the Body?

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Pressure ulcers or bedsores are injuries to the skin or tissues because of extended pressure on someone’s skin. They often develop on the skin that covers boney areas, including the shoulders, back of arms or legs, hips, tailbone, ankles, or heels. Those most at risk for these bedsores are those with medical conditions that limit or prevent their ability to change positions or to live an active life. Most of these sores heal with treatment; however, some never heal completely. At Nest Family Medicine, board-certified family physician Dr. Priti Ranjan can help treat patients with bedsores in Plano, TX.

What does a bedsore look like?

Some common signs of a bedsore include:

  • Swelling

  • Pus or drainage from pressure ulcer

  • Changes in texture or color of skin

  • Skin that feels cooler or warmer to the touch

  • Tenderness

During a visit with Dr. Ranjan, she can determine which stage your bedsore falls in, depending on the skin and tissue damage involved.

What causes bedsores?

Bedsores are caused by pressure that limits blood flow to the skin. Limited movement makes you vulnerable to damage and can lead to bedsores.

Some factors that cause bedsores include:

  1. Pressure: Constant pressure on any body part lessens the blood flow to tissues. Blood flow is important for delivering oxygen and nutrients to tissues. Without nutrients, skin and tissues are damaged.

  2. Friction: This occurs when the skin rubs against the bedding. This leads to fragile skin, which makes it more vulnerable to injury.

At Nest Family Medicine, we can offer tips on how to both treat and prevent future bedsores from occurring in Plano, TX.

How to treat bedsores

Treatment for bedsores varies, depending on the location, size, depth, and severity of the injury. During an exam, Dr. Ranjan assesses the area and develops a custom treatment plan for each of her patients. She may recommend antiseptic ointment, antibiotics, or even a tetanus booster, depending on the severity of your bedsore or wound.

Treating a bedsore involves many steps, including:

  1. Reducing pressure by repositioning

  2. Cleaning and dressing wounds

  3. Removing damaged tissue (when necessary)

  4. Surgery (when the bedsore fails to heal)

What happens when bedsores are left untreated?

When left untreated, some complications of pressure ulcers can be life-threatening, including:

  • Bone or joint infection

  • Cancer

  • Cellulitis

  • Sepsis

How to prevent bedsores

Bedsores can be prevented by inspecting the skin daily for redness, which is the first sign of skin breakdown. Other ways to prevent bedsores and existing sores from worsening include:

  • Turning and repositioning regularly (usually every two hours)

  • Using soft padding in beds and wheelchairs to help reduce pressure

  • Keeping the skin clean and dry for the best skin care

  • Eating a healthy diet with enough vitamins, minerals, and fluids

Learn how to heal wounds best in Plano, TX

When you have minor cuts, scrapes, or more severe bedsores, Dr. Priti Ranjan at Nest Family Medicine can help. When left untreated properly, it can lead to infection or damage to the bone or tissues. Schedule an appointment today at our Plano, TX office to learn more about bedsore care.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.