A pressure ulcer is a breakdown of an area of skin and the tissue under it. It is caused by constant pressure on the skin.
Pressure ulcers are sometimes called bedsores. The medical term is decubitus ulcer.
Pressure ulcers can happen to anyone with enough pressure for enough time. People with thin, frail skin have the most problems with pressure ulcers, so they need to do what they can to prevent them.
Where people get pressure ulcers depends on the type of problems they have. People with diabetes who are able to walk may have foot or ankle sores. People confined to wheelchairs may have problems where their pelvic bones carry the constant weight of their sitting. People confined to bed may have pressure sores around the tailbone, on the side of the hip joint, at the back of the heel, or at the elbow. Pressure sores may develop anywhere on the body where there is constant pressure.
Once a pressure ulcer develops, it can be hard to heal. It is much better to prevent pressure ulcers than to treat them.
Ways to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers include:
Take care of your skin
Change positions often
Use devices and take other cautions to relieve pressure
Avoid chafing, rubbing, or sliding