Pressure sores, bed sores, or pressure ulcers are injuries and irritations to the skin caused by staying in the same position for too long. The pressure of a bed or other object on body parts such as the ankles, back, elbows, heels, and hips can lead to these sores. People most prone to pressure sores are those who remain in a bed, chair, or wheelchair for prolonged periods of time.
There are four stages of pressure sores. The first stage is the mildest, marked by pain, burning, or itching in a specific area. The second stage begins when the sore begins to form below the surface of the skin, forming open wounds or blisters. In stage three, the sore reaches the fat tissue under the skin. Signs of infection may occur at this stage. The final stage is the most severe; the sores may begin to affect muscles and ligaments and express with symptoms such as black skin, deepening of the sore, and further signs of infection.
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