Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Prevention bedsores foot ulcers Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Skin Sore Prevention

Prevention of skin ulcers includes:

  • Avoid sources of constant pressure against the skin.
  • Avoid leg or foot injuries.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Keep swollen legs elevated as much as possible.
  • Clean the skin gently.
  • Sleep on an egg-crate mattress pad.
  • Change body position frequently while in bed.

Skin Sore Bedsores

Prevention of bedsores includes:

  • Avoid pressure points from a cast, splint or other hard object against the skin.
  • Avoid firm mattresses:
    • A waterbed, an egg-crate mattress, or a silicone gel mattress my protect the skin.
  • Change your position in the bed or wheelchair frequently.
  • Apply protective padding, such as sheepskin, to the skin over pressure points.
  • Inspect the skin daily.
  • Keep the skin clean.
  • Keep the bedclothes and sheets clean.

Skin Sore Foot Ulcers

Prevention of foot ulcers includes:

  • Examine your feet every day for cuts, blisters, or sores:
    • Clean wounds once a day.
    • Apply antibiotic ointment.
    • Apply a bandage.
  • If you have diabetes or poor circulation:
  • Keep your toenails trimmed:
    • Trim your toenails straight across.
    • Do not cut your nails so short that your toe bleeds.
    • Use an emery board to file sharp nail edges.
    • Do not disturb your cuticles: they protect you from infection.
  • Avoid pointed shoes.
  • Protect the feet from bumps and bruises:
    • Avoid sandals or flip-flops.
  • Purchase new shoes before your old ones wear out.
    • Shoes should provide plenty of room for your toes.
  • New shoes should always be broken-in slowly.
    • Start by wearing them for 1 hour on the first day.
    • Increase the time by 1 hour each day, gradually building up to a full day.
  • Wear cotton socks that absorb sweat.
  • Avoid elastic socks, garters, and socks with holes.
  • Wear loose-fitting socks to bed if your feet are cold during the night.

Continue to Skin Sore Outlook

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Skin Sore References
  1. Bouten CV, Oomens CW, Baaijens FP, Bader DL. The etiology of pressure ulcers: skin deep or muscle bound? Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003 Apr;84(4):616-9. [12690603]
  2. Frank C. Approach to skin ulcers in older patients. Can Fam Physician. 2004 Dec;50:1653-9. [15648380]
  3. Jones JE, Nelson EA. Skin grafting for venous leg ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD001737. [15674883]
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