Pressure sores (ulcers) affect nearly 700,000 people every year. They affect people in all healthcare environments, and research suggests that between 80-95% can be avoided. That could affect as many as 665,000 people and make their healthcare experience pressure ulcer free. Every healthcare worker can make a difference, every day by thinking about SKIN.

Around 20% of people in nursing and residential homes are affected by pressure ulcers.

Think skin

Use your eyes and look daily

Does it look different to surrounding areas?

  • Redness that does not blanch

  • Feels warmer or colder over bony areas

  • Pain

  • Boggy feeling or hardened

  • Blisters

  • Breaks in skin

Reddened areas, or on darker skin, areas that are darker than usual, may indicate a breakdown is imminent.

If you are worried or see a change – tell a senior member of staff

Daily skin care

Look after skin

Avoid hot baths and frequent showers.

Use mild soap

Dry without rubbing

Moisturise using a simple non perfumed moisturiser

Fluid from incontinence, perspiration and wound fluid can irritate skin and make it more prone to break down. Use a barrier film or cream to keep fluid away from the skin.

Ensure the resident is drinking enough fluid

Easy prevention

Keep moving

A pressure ulcer may be caused by pressure, shear friction or a combination of these. One of the best ways to reduce pressure over vulnerable areas can be by moving and changing positions as much as possible.

Change someone’s position as often as you can.

Encourage independent residents to move regularly and reposition immobile residents every 2 hours

If you can’t do it yourself ask for help

Resources