The skin protects the body from many things we encounter during our daily life. The skin can be injured, or wounded, to varying degrees of severity. Some of the types of wounds that can damage the skin include cuts, infection, burns, extreme temperatures, diabetic wounds, and pressure ulcers.
Pressure ulcers are caused when pressure on the skin reduces blood flow to the area, which causes the skin to die. This process often causes the area to form a blister, and then an open sore. Pressure ulcers most commonly affect people who are not mobile for long periods of time, like those in wheelchairs or the elderly, and are usually found in areas that are in constant contact with a bed or chair, like the buttocks, back, and heel.1
Since there are so many cellular activities happening during the wound healing process, it is important to make sure you’re getting good nutrition to support those cells. Wound healing is hard work for the body, and increases its demand for calories, protein, and certain nutrients like vitamins A and C, and sometimes the mineral zinc.2 Increasing your intake of these important nutrients can be as simple as adding an oral nutritional supplement to your diet, but make an appointment with a dietitian if you have a poor appetite or your wound is not healing well.
1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007071.html. Accessed April 2015.
2. European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Treatment of pressure ulcers: Quick Reference Guide. Washington DC: National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel; 2009.