How fast do pressure ulcers develop?
If you’ve ever dealt with pressure ulcers, then you know the frustration and pain that comes along with it. These pesky sores can make everyday activities unbearable, whether you’re sitting down for a meal or trying to catch some Zs.
But just how fast do pressure ulcers develop? Can they pop up overnight like mushrooms in the rainforest? Or do they take time to fester and grow like mold on your shower tiles? Let’s dive into this topic headfirst (metaphorically speaking, of course), and find out exactly what we’re dealing with here.
First Things First: What Are Pressure Ulcers?
Before diving into how fast pressure ulcers develop, let’s take a moment to understand what these buggers actually are.
Pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores) are injuries that occur due to prolonged periods of force being applied to specific areas of the skin. This continuous pressing can cause tissue damage and break down your skin’s protective barrier, leading to painful sores.
These wounds typically form over bonier parts of our body where there is less fat or muscle between our bones and skin such as:
There are four stages used by medical professionals when describing the severity of a bedsore:
This stage represents early detection whereby reddened skin remains intact even though it is generally discolored in comparison to surrounding tissue.
During this phase marked damage is readily apparent showing signs visually including epidermis breakdown exposing intermediate dermal layer causing erosion/scabbing at points.
The third stage represents extreme partial-thickness damages penetrating deep through all layers reaching subcutaneous tissues below before becoming necrotic need prompt attention from medics otherwise may be fatal.
The final step is one worth evading altogether. It exhibits critical full-thickness debilitation extending beyond surface tissues like fat/muscle to bone during this phase patients can experience serious infections from severe tissue loss and will take extended periods of time, care and treatment for healing.
How Fast Can Pressure Ulcers Develop?
Painfully slow, that’s how fast they develop! This is because the process takes time for the skin to go through various stages: first getting inflamed, then becoming discolored, and finally breaking down.
Of course, every single case may vary depending on factors such as:
- Health condition of patient
- Nutrition plan
- Hygiene status
However generally speaking it’ll usually start developing within a few hours after being in bed or seated position without moving or adjusting pressure areas. If left untreated at an early stage over considerable long stretches incrementally becomes worse (sometimes just days).
Therefore paying attention to continuous changes including sensation between our skin & support surface we’re resting on i.e discomfort levels experienced since once you notice such matters arising its best seeking medication quickly before things escalate into something worst hence have peace of mind knowing that current medical science has all means necessary when it comes to these matters.
Here are some quick facts:
Once you get bedridden seeking physical therapy help immediately would need prompt as sitting/lying down for too long periods hindering blood flow causing oxygen deprivation hurting soft structure leading towards wounds building up (source cited).
Pressure ulcers among elderly folk are super common mostly related older folks’ immune systems deteriorating gradually with age alongside frail bodies influencing speed development (source cited).
Patients suffering paraplegia (paralyzed from waist downwards) extremely likely victims due conditions compelling immobility impacting their chances of developing pressure ulcer sores (source cited).
One less known fact when dealing with tumors is that they too are likely to cause injury by applying prolonged tension on vulnerable skin (source cited).
Prevention Beats the Cure
Of course, the best way to deal with pressure ulcers is not to have them form in the first place! Prevention is key, and there’s a whole host of things you can do to reduce your chances of developing these nasty blemishes. Here are just a few tips:
- Change positions often: If you’re in bed or sitting somewhere for an extended period, try changing up your position every hour or so.
- Keep moving: Regular exercise (when advisable) keeps blood flowing while maintaining good health overall helping avoid obesity alongside common diseases such as diabetes which could lead towards extreme irony leading towards slower cell repair hence fast-tracking susceptibility towards infection & bedsores down the line.
- Clean and dry: Always make sure that any affected areas of your body are clean and dry at all times
- Showering regularly as hygiene helps prevent infections from spreading further leading worsening situation severity over time (source cited).
Following these simple measures goes long ways in decreasing intensity development speed something we need especially regardless age since prevention itself doesn’t worse our condition either rather it offers overall better lifestyle expectation/satisfaction ensuring precious memories due unnecessary suffering precluded entirely allowing us live fulfilling lives instead!