We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Decubitis Ulcer?

By Madeleine A.
Updated Jan 24, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A decubitis ulcer refers to bedsores or pressures ulcers that occur when pressure is placed upon the skin, muscle, soft tissue, and bone. When the weight of a person presses against a surface beneath them, skin can start to break down. Typically, a decubitis ulcer affects those who are in poor health, bed bound, incontinent, and elderly. In addition, individuals who cannot reposition themselves at least every two hours, are also at risk for a decubitis ulcer.

Typically, impaired mobility prevents a person from changing position as necessary, which increases the risk of skin breakdown. In addition, those patients who are neurologically impaired, have dementia, or are heavily sedated are especially at risk. People who have pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, are prone to a decubitis ulcer, and having diabetes can further delay wound healing. Bedsores are generally categorized as being mild to severe. A severe, or stage IV decubitis ulcer can affect muscle and bone and cause gangrene. Treatment for a decubitis ulcer depends upon the stage of the wound and the overall physical and mental condition of the patient.

Wound healing generally cannot begin until pressure is taken off the decubitis ulcer. In addition, the the area of skin breakdown needs to be kept clean and free from irritating urine and feces. Stage I pressure ulcers, or mild bedsores, generally respond to topical preparations such as petroleum jelly or diaper rash cream. More severe cases might require more powerful preparations that have the potential to slough off dead skin, while regenerating new skin. Sometimes, in severe cases, surgical debridement will be necessary to remove dead tissue and prevent gangrene from developing. Also, oral or intravenous antibiotics are necessary when bedsores become infected.

A high-protein diet and increased consumption of vitamin C can promote wound healing in those suffering from pressure ulcers. Also, patients who are immobile need to be turned and repositioned at least every two hours in order to keep pressure off bony prominences such as the hips, ankles, and elbows. Specialty mattresses, such as air or water mattresses, are also beneficial for reducing pressure on the skin. Patients who are incontinent need to have their incontinence apparel changed every two hours and when they become soiled. When patients sit in urine and feces, skin becomes irritated, this exacerbates pressure ulcers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.