Creams, lotions and other skin care products

Whether you care for a family member at home or are caring for seniors professionally, pressure ulcers are a critically relevant topic.

Pressure ulcers (also known as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores and bed sores) happen when blood circulation is cut off from a certain area of the body, due to prolonged pressure. "Prolonged" usually means 2 hours or more, so it is a relatively short period of time.

They key is, then, to not allow any part of the body to experience pressure for too long. However, factors other than pressure can also raise the risk of pressure sores.

Skin moisture and temperature play an important role in bed sore development. Patients with higher skin temperatures and more sweating are at higher risk for pressure ulcers.

Here are 5 steps to manage skin temperature and moisture for lower bedsore risk:

  1. Check for incontinence a minimum of every two hours, and as needed. When urine and feces remain in contact with the skin for a long time, they lead to skin breakdown and can raise the risk of pressure ulcers.
  2. Use moisture barrier protectant on skin (e.g., creams, ointments, film-forming skin protectants) as needed to protect and maintain intact skin, or to treat non-intact skin. The healthier the skin, the lower the risk of bed sores.
  3. Select absorbent and dryness-promoting underpads, pullups and briefs to wick incontinence moisture away from the skin versus trapping moisture against the skin, causing maceration.
  4. Assess for fungal infections, and treat as appropriate. Fungal dermatitis compromises skin, which could lead to higher pressure sore risk.
  5. Change linen frequently in cases excessive sweating. Excess moisture against the skin can cause skin lesions, again weakening its defenses.


BedsoreDecubitus ulcerPressure ulcerPrevention

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