Prevent constant pressure on any part of the
Change positions and turn often to help
reduce constant pressure on the skin. Learn the proper way to move yourself or
a person you are caring for so that you avoid folding and twisting skin
Spread body weight. Use pressure-relieving devices or
cushions, especially if a person is confined to a bed or chair for any length
of time, to help prevent pressure sores. Pad metal parts of a wheelchair to
help reduce pressure and friction.
Eat a healthy diet with enough
Keep the skin clean and free of body fluids or
Use skin lotions to keep the skin from drying out and
cracking, which makes the skin more likely to get pressure sores. Barrier
lotions or creams have ingredients that can act as a shield to help protect the
skin from moisture or irritation.
What increases the risk of getting pressure sores?
People at greatest risk for getting pressure sores are those who:
Are confined to a bed or chair, especially if
it?s because of a
Cannot move without help
paralysis, coma, or recovering from surgery or
Have had a hip fracture. The risk for pressure sores
continues even after coming home from the hospital or nursing home.
Cannot control their bladder or bowels. Excess moisture can
irritate or soften skin and lead to pressure sores.
Are not eating
a healthy diet with enough protein. Poor nutrition can lead to unhealthy skin
and slow healing.
Are not as alert as normal due to other health
problems, from taking certain medicines, or after surgery. People who are not
alert and thinking clearly may not understand why preventing pressure sores is
important, or they may not be able to take the prevention steps that are
Are older. As people age, the soft tissue becomes more
fragile. In addition, skin becomes thinner and less elastic, and injures more
Are smokers. Smoking dries out
the skin and reduces blood flow to the skin.
Have a fever. A higher
body temperature puts extra stress on areas of the skin that may already be at
risk for pressure sores.
Have another health problem that makes
healing difficult, such as