A pressure sore (also called a bedsore or pressure ulcer) is damage to the skin and the tissue underneath. It can be caused by the weight of the body pressing down on the skin. Friction from clothing or skin being dragged when you’re moved by others can also cause sores.
If your mobility has been restricted by your illness or its treatment, you’re at a higher risk of developing a pressure sore. You’re also at a higher risk if you’ve lost a lot of weight or aren’t managing to eat and drink well. Some drugs can also increase your risk, including chemotherapy drugs, steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Inspect your skin, particularly bony areas like elbows and ankles. For areas that are difficult to see, like shoulder blades or the base of your spine, use a mirror or ask a friend to help. Look out for reddened or dark patches on these areas, or any blisters or breaks in the skin. Let your nurse know about them straight away.