Pressure Ulcer Stages: All You Need to Know

When an individual is unconscious, incapable of sensing pain, and bedridden or immobile, certain areas of the body are under pressure. This can result in the development of what are commonly known as “bedsores.” Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores are common among people who are bedridden or immobile but do not receive optimal care. Pressure ulcers do not form overnight — they appear over a number of stages. In this blog, you’ll get familiar with the stages of pressure ulcers. Carry on reading to explore more!

Request An Appointment

    Introduction to Pressure Ulcers

    A pressure ulcer is an injury that results from reduced blood flow, improper skin care, and poor nutrition. This causes not only the skin but the underlying tissue to break down, especially when the area is under pressure.

    What are the Stages of Pressure Ulcers?

    Our body needs to stay in motion for proper blood flow. Hence, if they are not turned or positioned correctly, have poor nutrition, and have inadequate skin care, the possibility of pressure ulcer increases. People with poor nutrition, diabetes, and circulation issues are at an increased risk of pressure ulcers. Below, you can see what the stages of pressure ulcers include:

    1. Stage 1
      In the first stage, pressure ulcers are in their mildest form — it only affects the upper layer of your skin. You may experience symptoms that include burning, itching, and pain. Moreover, the spot will appear different than the surrounding skin. It will either be warmer or cooler, as well as firmer or softer. That’s not all; the skin may turn a red shade, which is harder to spot on dark-colored skin.
      You can stop the pressure ulcer from becoming worse by eliminating pressure. Therefore, try changing your position or use mattresses, pillows, or soft pads. Other than this, incorporate movement in your routine, and move every 2 hours if much of your day is spent in bed. Furthermore, move every 15 minutes if you are using a chair. With proper treatment, stage 1 pressure ulcers may go away in 2 to 3 days.
    2. Stage 2
      This happens when the sore dig deeper below the surface of your skin.
      The second stage arrives when the sore manages to reach below the surface of your skin. Hence, your skin will look broken with an open wound or a blister filled with pus. In addition, the area has swelling, warmness, and redness, along with fluids or pus discharging from the wound. Oh, and it is quite painful.
      To resolve stage 2 pressure ulcers, you can maintain a healthy diet and follow the same treatment directions as stage 1. Plus, you can clean the wound with water or a solution of salt and water and use a gentle technique to dry it. In addition, talk to your doctor about taking pain medications before cleaning since it might hurt. Use moist gauze or a see-through dressing to cover the sore. It will get better somewhere between 3 days to 3 weeks.
    3. Stage 3
      Pressure ulcers have advanced by the third stage and go through the second layer of skin, spreading to your fat tissue, Your skin, as a result, will appear cratered and might release a bad odor. Furthermore, you may notice signs of infection, which include pus, odor, heat, drainage, red edges, and more. The tissue surrounding the ulcer might look black, given that it is dead. You will need proper care and medical attention to treat the pressure ulcer. Your healthcare provider might remove the dead tissue and suggest antibiotics. You may have to wait from 1 to 4 months to see any improvement.
    4. Stage 4
      Among all pressure ulcer stages, stage 4 is the most severe, with damage to muscles and ligaments. The sore will be deep and evident, with black skin and infection symptoms. In fact, bones, tendons, and muscles might be visible. At this stage, you may need medical attention or even surgery. A stage 4 pressure ulcer might take from 3 months to a year to heal.

    Questions About Pressure Ulcer Stages: All You Need to Know ?

    See What Our Patients Are Saying About Us

    I recently sustained a burn to my ankle in March which necessitated an Emergency Room visit. When the severity of the wound and the lengthy treatment needed was discussed, I was told of the new wound Center and soon met Dr. Gordon and Irina who immediately became my new best friends.

    Dr. Carl Mani

    First and foremost, Dr. Anthony Gordon and Irena Shteyn, RN, CWOCN saved my life.
    I had severe wounds in both lower legs due to a severe case of cellulitis. I was in acute pain and worried about my prognosis.

    Barbara Scrooc

    I had an accident that injured my leg and I didn’t see a doctor for over a week. I noticed that the wound was not healing so I went to the Emergency at Novato Community Hospital. They told me to see a wound specialist ASAP and they recommended Dr. Anthony Gordon at the Marin Advanced Wound Center.

    Myra Perea

    My father got treatment from Dr. Gordon for his burn wound. Dr. Gordon was very caring, attentive and spent generous amounts of time to give him very effective treatment.

    Sara Cox

    Key Takeaway

    For people dealing with unconsciousness, pain, or another issue that may require them to be bedridden, the blood flow in certain spots might become restricted. This results in the occurrence of stages of pressure ulcers, sores that form over time. You’ll need immediate medical attention from a professional expert to properly deal with pressure ulcers.

    At OptemizeMD, we are prepared to deal with any wound or injuries you may have. Drop by at 165 Rowland Way # 301-A, Novato, CA to meet us, or dial (415) 429-4225 now.

    Skip to content