3 Types of Sores Common for Seniors and Some Ways to Prevent Them
March 7, 2017As people age, their bodies change. For seniors, there are skin issues that can appear which in many cases, can be prevented. Here are three fairly common examples that caregivers may want to be watching for in order to get help in a timely manner and thereby prevent a worse injury:Bed sores or pressure sores: These types of sores tend to be very common in seniors. They are often caused by pressure from sitting or lying too long. Often times, seniors who are bed-bound or in a wheelchair, aren’t able to change positions. With increased age, people’s skin tends to get thinner. Sores can form in areas where there is little padding between the skin and bone, such as around elbows, heels, and hips. In these locations, if blood flow is interrupted, such as pinched, the skin can start to bruise and even die. There are stages to the intensity of pressure sores. Stage 1 has the skin appear to be reddish bruises, like sunburns. The skin could be warm in that area and the senior may complain of soreness and feeling itchy. If caregivers can catch sores at this stage, it can help with healing much better and more completely. Stage 2 shows the sore as more of a blister or a bruise with purple colored skin. Again, getting immediate medical care can help to heal faster. By stage 3, the wound is opening down possibly several layers of skin. When the sore reaches this point, the healing process can become much longer and more intense as well as more painful for the senior. And if the sore reaches stage 4, surgery is required. Too, depending on the location of the sore, amputation may be necessary. Caregivers should be aware of these problems so that there is a better chance of identifying potential issues sooner. Looking over a bed-ridden or wheelchair bound senior daily can be a valuable way to find sores in the early stages.Mouth sores: There may be several reasons for mouth sores. These sores are often seen as blisters on the sides of the mouth and/or lips. Blisters, once they appear, could take a week to two before going away though will often return. Blisters can come from a number of causes including viruses or missing teeth. Other mouth issues can include fungal infections, such as from ill-fitting dentures. And another cause could be from vitamin deficiencies.Foot sores: Age can also cause circulation issues which tend to show themselves at the feet. Moving the feet and legs such as through walking or massage can help with getting circulation to those lower regions of the body. Foot issues can range from itchy to painful. Dry skin can cause feet to be irritated and can be helped by applying moisturizing lotions. Calluses can come from the rubbing of shoes that are too tight. Foot fungus is also an issue. Fungus can appear mainly from moist, sweaty feet so try to keep feet dry in order to avoid this issue. More painful types of foot issues include heel spurs and ingrown toe nails. Heel spurs can be caused by standing for long periods of time. Ingrown toe nails form when the nail goes into the skin. Caregivers can help with the latter issue by checking that the nails are clipped regularly. And, for painful feet issues, it is a good idea to contact a physician for ways to help those problems.