Pressure ulcer, bed sore, decubitus ulcer... The skin breakdown is known by many names and is infamous for its ability to cause pain and distress to those who get them. But what exactly is a pressure ulcer? And what can you do to prevent and treat them?
Pressure ulcers are so much more than just pressure. Contrary to what the word might suggest, pressure ulcers are not just caused by pressure, although it can be a factor in developing pressure ulcers.
Here are some of the factors that can contribute to pressure ulcers.
Pressure: If you put constant pressure on one part of your body for a long period of time, you’re limiting the blood flow to that area. This means that the area on your skin is not getting oxygen and other nutrients needed to maintain the tissues, which contributes to the skin breaking down.
Friction: Friction happens when two forces rub against each other. When the skin rubs against clothing, bedding or support surface, it can create friction which can result in damage to the cells on the skin surface.
Shear: Shear is caused by friction plus the force of gravity. The force of gravity pulls you onto the surface which, along with friction, create distortions to both blood vessels and cell tissues.
Moisture: When you take a long bath, you would most likely have experienced that your skin turns wrinkly. The same happens if you’re exposed to fluids, such as sweat, continuously and over time, as it makes the skin soft and wrinkled which eventually can lead to breakdown of the skin.
Temperature: Low temperatures will restrict the supply of nutrients to the cell of the skin and lead to skin breakdown. However, high temperature leads to greater demand for nutrients and oxygen and can lead to a moist skin surface.
What can I do to prevent a pressure ulcer?
Our solutions from Shear Comfort and GlideWear can help you prevent the agony of pressure ulcers.
Shear Comfort’s solutions are made from natural medical sheepskin which relieves pressure from your skin while also being a very comfortable material. The medical sheepskin has many unique properties that enables it to wick moisture from your skin and regulate your body’s temperature.
Shear Comfort sheepskin comes in various sizes from full-body overlays to targeted protectors for parts of your body such as your hand and feet.
GlideWear uses a patented technology to protect the skin from pressure ulcers, rubbing, pain, and injuries. The technology is based on a two-layer, low-friction fabric that absorbs friction and shear forces between its two layers.
Similar to Shear Comfort, the material that GlideWear apply in their products allows the skin to breathe as it also has the quality of allowing moisture and temperature to dissipate away from the skin.
Pressure ulcers can have a damaging effect not only on your skin but also to your own well-being in terms of pain, disfigurement and body image. To prevent pressure ulcers, it’s key to take good care of your skin by limiting the skin’s exposure to the various factors while regularly inspecting any changes to the look of your skin.
If you’re interested in learning more about the GlideWear and Shear Comfort solutions click here.