Pressure Sores

Pressure Sores

Pressure sores are ulcers that commonly appear in the elderly. But it can occur in those who are on extended bed rest or immobilised for long periods. Pressure sores are also known as bed sores, pressure ulcers, and decubitus ulcers.

Most often, these ulcers only affect the skin. But the more severe types of pressure ulcers affect the skin tissues and bones as well. Pressure sores appear over the course of a few days or, in some cases, a matter of hours.

Most pressure sores respond to treatment. But they don’t heal completely.

Causes

Pressure sores take after their name. They are formed due to excessive pressure on a specific part of a person’s body. This excessive pressure often restricts the flow of blood to a specific part of the skin.

The following factors contribute in the formation of pressure sores or worsen the condition of existing ones.

  1. Pressure

This is one of the major causes of pressure sores. Lying on the bed in a specific way, especially for those who’ve been recommended extended bed rest or are in a coma, increases the chances of a pressure sore. Long hours of pressure on a specific part of the body impact the flow of blood to it. The lack of blood flow damages the skin and the tissues nearby, consequently leading to pressure sores.

  1. Friction

The strength of the skin takes a hit when it regularly comes in contact with clothing, bedding, or other similar elements. The constant rubbing can lead to pressure sores.

  1. Shear

Another factor that contributes to pressure sores is shear. It occurs when the skin moves in the direction opposite to the surface it’s in contact with.

  1. Lack of Padding

The human body has parts that aren’t padded very well. The areas where a person’s bones can be felt more are at risk of pressure ulcers. These areas normally include

  • Buttocks
  • Spine
  • Tailbone
  • Shoulder blades
  • Hips
  • Heels
  • Elbows

The pressure from the bones for long periods and the lack of movement cause pressure sores.

Symptoms

Pressure sores exhibit different symptoms based on their severity. Irrespective of the severity, it is expected that you consult an expert plastic surgeon in Chennai to find out what to do next. The symptoms of pressure sores include:

  • Change in the colour of the skin
  • The affected area hurts badly
  • Itching and burning sensation in the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Pus-like draining
  • The affected area is warmer or colder to touch
  • The affected area is softer or firmer than the skin surrounding it
  • Dead tissue that is black in colour

Neglecting a pressure sore not only worsens the condition, it also increases the chances of an infection. The following are the signs that a pressure sore is infected.

  • The skin reddens or changes colour near the pressure ulcer
  • Pus or green-coloured drainage
  • Fever
  • Unpleasant smell

Vulnerable Areas

The areas where pressure sores will appear depend on whether the person is bedridden or wheelchair-bound. This part is important as it helps professionals at BM Cosmetics, the best plastic surgery hospital in Chennai, find out the right treatment for the patient.

A wheelchair-bound person suffers from pressure ulcers in the

  1. Tailbone
  2. Buttocks
  3. Shoulder blades
  4. Spine
  5. Back of their arms and legs

Someone who has to stay in bed for long periods will have pressure ulcers in the

  • Back or side of their head
  • Shoulder blades
  • Hip
  • Lower back
  • Tailbone
  • Heels and ankles
  • Area behind the knees

Approaching the best plastic surgeon in Chennai is essential to treating pressure sores. They will give an accurate diagnosis of your condition and offer the best-in-class treatment to overcome pressure sores.

Factors That Contribute to Pressure Sores

Pressure sores don’t occur to everyone. They are often seen in a specific category of people who exhibit the following conditions.

  • Forced to stay in bed due to surgery or illness
  • Confined to a bed or wheelchair and unable to move without help
  • Older people, due to their fragile skin and difficulty moving
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of nutrients
  • Urinary or bowel incontinence
  • Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart or kidney failure, and Parkinson’s

Stages of Pressure Sores

Pressure sores have 4 stages. The condition of pressure sores worsens as they progress to higher stages. The treatment options for each stage vary as well. Stage 1 and 2 pressure sores don’t require surgery. But stage 3 and 4 pressure ulcers require surgery from the best plastic surgeons in Chennai and extensive rest.

  1. Stage 1

Those suffering from stage 1 pressure ulcers experience discoloration in the affected area. For those with a lighter complexion, the skin may appear red. The skin may appear either blue or dark purple for people with darker complexions.

In addition to skin discoloration, those with stage 1 pressure sores will also experience

  • Warmth in the affected area
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Burning sensation
  1. Stage 2

The pressure sore starts to get worse at this stage. The skin starts giving away for those suffering from stage 2 pressure sores. The break in the skin contains a shallow sore. In some cases, a cut that leaks pus is also found. There are also chances that the sore may appear like a blister full of fluid.

Stage 2 pressure sores affect the first and second layers of the skin, namely the epidermis and dermis. Additionally, the area around the pressure sore may exhibit discolouration.

  1. Stage 3

Stage 3 pressure sores fall on the more severe end. As a result, the patient may have to undergo surgery at a plastic surgery hospital in Chennai.

Stage 3 pressure sores affect the fat layer of the skin. The sore is often found deeper within the skin. As severe as it sounds, stage 3 pressure sores don’t reveal the bones or tendons.

At this stage, the pressure sore resembles a crater. It may also give off an unpleasant smell.

  1. Stage 4

This is the stage at which the pressure sore is at its worst. At this stage, the pressure sore affects the tissue layers and the bone. Stage 4 pressure sores lead to dead tissue and plenty of pus. Infection is also likely to happen at this stage.

Since this is the final and most severe stage of pressure sores, one can see the patients’

  • Muscle
  • Bones
  • Tendons
  • Joints

Like the previous stage, surgery is the recommended course of action for stage 4 pressure sores as well. Contact BM Cosmetics, the best plastic surgery hospital in Tamil Nadu, to get the right diagnosis and treatment.

Unstageable

Although most instances of pressure sores are easily identifiable, there are chances that some pressure sores don’t exhibit symptoms right away. This makes it difficult to find out the depth of the sore and the level of tissue damage.

The above conditions usually happen due to eschar. An eschar is a hard plaque that is found inside the sore. These pressure sores often appear in the following colours.

  • Tan
  • Brown
  • Black

These unstageable pressure sores also hold slough, a discoloured debris that appears in the following colours.

  • Yellow
  • Tan
  • Green
  • Brown

The presence of eschar and slough makes it difficult to identify the stage of the pressure sore. You will have to visit a doctor to remove the eschar and slough. This helps them determine the severity of the pressure sore and treat it accordingly.

Pressure sores are painful and leave a lasting impact on a person. There is a probability that a person may miss a pressure sore. It can happen either during surgery recovery or due to neglect in nursing homes.

Whatever the reason, it is important to detect pressure sores at the earliest possible time. Book a consultation with BM Cosmetics, the best hospital for plastic surgery in Chennai. Our state-of-the-art facility and experienced plastic surgeons make us the optimum choice for all types of aesthetic treatments.

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