Managing Skin Sores
Skin sores are characterised by the appearance of blisters, bumps or ulcers on the skin around the body.
Some common causes of skin sores include:
- Underlying health conditions (e.g. eczema, diabetic leg ulcers, skin cancer)
- Pressure damage (e.g. skin sores)
- Infection (e.g. cold sores, chicken pox)
- Burn (e.g. scald, sunburn, frostbite, chemical burn, etc)
- Injury (e.g. abrasion, cut)
- Other situations (e.g. insect bites or stings, food allergies, medication side effects or allergies)
Managing Skin Sores:
Skin sores are skin damage as a result of prolonged pressure on the skin coupled with friction.
Due to the pressure, blood flow to the area is reduced, causing tissue damage and sores formation.
Skin sores are more common at areas where the bones are close to the skin (e.g. ankle, back, elbow, hips or buttocks). Bed or wheel-chair bound patients are at a higher risk of developing skin sores.
Skin sores are classified into 4 stages:
Intact skin with discolouration, the skin is firm, soft and with slight pain.
A superficial open wound that resembles a ruptured fluid-filled blister.
A deep wound with a crater-like appearance which may expose some fatty tissues or yellowish dead tissues.
Extensive loss of tissues which may expose the muscles or bones, with dark dead tissues at the bottom.
Stage 1 and 2 skin sores could be managed at home while the higher stages require medical attention as there is an increased risk of infection.
Preventing Diabetic Ulcers
- Blood sugar levels should be well controlled in a diabetic patient.
- Proper fitting footwear with adequate supper is important to minimise injury.
- Minor foot injuries or foot infections (e.g. fungal) should be well-managed.
- To maintain a clean and healthy foot, clean the foot gently with mild soap and water, pat dry and apply moisturisers.
- Diabetic patients should have their feet checked regularly by an orthopaedic surgeon.
Self-management for skin sores and diabetic ulcers
A good wound dressing (e.g. foam dressings) for skin sores or diabetic leg ulcers should minimise pain and trauma during dressing change while keeping a moist wound environment. All these factors help to create an ideal environment with minimal wound disturbance for optimal wound healing.
You should see a doctor:
- If the sore does not seemed to be healing.
- If there is unbearable pain or the area becomes swollen with foul odour discharge.
- If you are down with fever.
- If you experience other new unexplainable symptoms (e.g. nausea)