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Bedsores – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Management, Treatment

Written by Dr.Mary

What are Bedsores?

They are also known as pressure ulcers as well as pressure sores. These are spots of tissue and skin damage from continued pressure that sever circulation to areas of the body that are at risk such as the skin on hips, heels as well as buttocks. When there is inadequate blood circulating to these areas, the affected tissue and skin die.

Those most at risk for bedsores are people bedridden because of paralysis as well as those individuals who use wheelchairs or who are not able to change their positions without help.

Bedsores Symptoms

These types of pressure sores fall into 1 of 4 different stages – based on how bad they are. The definition for each stage is listed below:

Stage I

This is when the sore has begun and a constant region of red skin occur which may be painful and feels warm as well as spongy or firm to the touch. Stage I sores are shallow and normally fade quickly after the pressure is alleviated.

Stage II

This is when some skin loss has begun to occur – either in the deeper layer or dermis of the skin or the outermost layer of the skin or epidermis, or both. The sore is at this stage an open wound which resembles an abrasion or blister and the tissues which surrounds it can be purple or red in color.

Stage III

This is the stage when the bedsore damage extends to the tissue below the skin, developing a crate-like, deep wound.

Stage IV

This is the most severe advanced stage. There is large loss of skin, along with damage to the underlying bone, muscle as well as the supporting structures such as joints and tendons.

Bedsores Causes

Most individuals shift their position many times a day, sitting during meetings, fixing the radio while driving, turning numerous times while sleeping. This is done without thinking – multitude of small postural changes which help hold off problems which can crop up from immobility. But for those individuals who are not able to move because of injury, paralysis or illness, these problems – such as bedsores – are a regular risk.

If an individual is immobilized or unable to move, pressure sores can be caused because of:

Pressure which is sustained

When an individual’s skin as well as the tissue underlying it, are entrapped between bone and any other surface such as the bed or a wheelchair, this restricts the flow of blood. This starves the tissue of oxygen as well as other nutrients which the blood provides. This is when unalterable injury as well as tissue death occurs.


Shifting position frequently is the main way to stop bedsores from occurring. But the friction that develops with each move just from moving side to side can also damage the skin, and make it more venerable to bedsores.


This happens when the skin will move in one direction and the bone underlying the skin moves in an additional direction. This can happen when sliding down in bed or a chair, raising the top of the bed more than 30 degree. These are all liable to cause shearing, by stretching and tearing cell walls as well as tiny blood vessels.

Bedsores Treatment

The treatment for bedsores is extremely demanding. Open wounds of any kind heal slowly and since other tissues and skin have previously experienced damage or are destroyed, the healing process is by no means perfect.

Conservative treatment

Even thought it can take a bit time, the majority of Stage I as well as Stage II bedsores will restore in weeks by using conservative procedures. But Stage III as well as Stage IV sores are less prone to mend on their own and may need surgery.


The initial step to take in caring for a bedsore at any stage is to relieve any stress that caused it. You can decrease pressure by:

Often change positions

Carefully follow a schedule for repositioning and turning – at 15 minutes intervals for an individual in a wheelchair and as a minimum one time every 2 hours when an individual is bedridden. If the individual is not able to alter positions by themselves, a family member or caregiver has got to help.

Use of support planes

These are cushions, mattresses, pads as well as beds which are special and relieve the pressure on an present bedsore as well as help to protect areas which are vulnerable from additional breakdown.

Other non-surgical treatments of bedsores include:


It is necessary to keep sores clean in order to avert infection. A wound which is Stage I should be washed gently with water and soap that is mild, but sores which are open should be washed with a saltwater/saline solution every time the bandage is changed.

Damaged tissue removal known as debridement

In order to heal appropriately, sores have to be free of dead, or damaged tissue which is infected. This is done in quite a few ways – the paramount method depends on the individual’s general condition, the wound type as well as the goals of the treatment.


There are an assortment of dressings to use which help protect sores and to speed the healing process. The type normally depends on the stage and relentlessness of the sore. The basic method is to keep the sore moist as well as the skin adjoining it dry.


Whirlpool wash may assist healing by keeping the skin clean as well as naturally removing contaminated or tissue which is dead.

Oral antibiotics

If the sores look infected, a physician can give oral antibiotics.

Healthy diet

A rich nutritionally diet with sufficient calories and protein and a complete variety of minerals and vitamin – particularly vitamin C as well as zinc – can advance healing.

Relief of muscle spasm

This is important both for preventing as well as treating bedsores. To help lessen spasticity, the physician may advise “skeletal muscle relaxants” which obstruct nerve reflexes in the spine as well as in the cells of the muscle themselves.

Surgical repair

Still with the finest of care, wounds like these can arrive at the point where they require surgical intercession. The purposes of surgery comprise improving general hygiene as well as look of the sore, treating or preventing infection, reducing loss of fluid thru the sore, and lowering the risk of future cancer.

Bedsores Pictures

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