Pressure Sores | Causes & Risk Factors

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What causes pressure sores?

Pressure sores usually are caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long. This puts pressure on certain areas of the body. The pressure can reduce the blood supply to the skin and the tissues under the skin. When a change in position doesn't occur often enough and the blood supply gets too low, a sore may form.

Who gets pressure sores?

Anyone who sits or lies in one position for a long time might get pressure sores. You are more likely to get pressure sores if you are paralyzed, use a wheelchair or spend most of your time in bed.

However, even people who are able to walk can develop pressure sores when they must stay in bed because of an illness or an injury. Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hardening of the arteries, make it hard for pressure sores to heal because of poor blood circulation.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/12
Created: 09/00

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