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  • Writer's picture Lauren Svensen FNP-C

Taking Care of Your Skin

Bed Sores

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers often occur over boney parts of the body, like your heals and tailbone. A healthy person who is sitting or lying down will shift their weight frequently. A person who has difficultly with their mobility may have trouble shifting their weight which decreases blood flow to the skin at boney parts of the body where the pressure is the greatest. This can then cause skin injury, skin tissue death, and sometimes leads to open wounds. Pressure ulcers are 100% preventable. If a person is bed-bound they should have help turning every 2 hours if they cannot turn themselves. A low-air loss mattress is a specialty bed that can prevent pressure sores. Placing a pillow under a person’s calves can keep pressure off of their heels when they are lying on their back. People who use a wheelchair should shift their weight every 15 minutes and always use a wheelchair cushion. Wheelchair cushions can prevent pressure sores and there are different types, some are filled with air, others with specialty foam. Sometimes people need to use a different cushion if they are having trouble with pressure ulcers. People who have a new disability and are new wheelchair users often have trouble remembering shift their weight every 15 minutes. Using a timer is a good strategy to start making weight shifts a new habit. People who have accidents of stool or urine also have an increased risk of a pressure ulcer. To learn more about pressure ulcers check out he link below.

Skin Cancer

Risk factors for skin cancer include having a family history of skin cancer, using a tanning bed, sun exposure, and having a personal history of skin cancer. People who have sunburn easily and have light skin have a higher risk for skin cancer. Having red hair, blond hair, green eyes or blue eyes as well as getting freckles when exposed to the sun are other traits that put you at increased risk for skin cancer.

Skin cancer can be prevented by decreasing sun exposure, wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30, and wearing wide-brim hats. The sun is strongest between 10 am to 4 pm so avoid the outdoors during these times if possible. Some signs of skin cancer is a mole with an asymmetrical border, or a diameter larger than the tip of a pencil eraser. A mole that had more than one color, an irregular border, or has changed in size recently, is a sign of skin cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned you may have skin cancer. You can visit the links below for pictures and additional information about skin cancer from the Centers of Disease Control.

Skin Dryness

An ointment will be the most moisturizing for your skin and an example would be Vaseline or Eucerin Aquaphor. Ointments may make acne worse. Creams and lotions can help with dry skin as well but have less oil than ointment so they aren’t as moisturizing. Creams and lotions will absorb more easily into your skin. Many people are irritated by fragrances put in creams, soaps, and detergents. Unscented products are the least irritating to the skin.

*This article is intended for general information purposes only and is not medical advice. Please seek counseling from your primary care provider for personalized medical advice.


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