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Treatment of Stage 2 Pressure Sores

In stage 2, the skin breaks open, wears away, or forms an ulcer, which is usually tender and painful. Most stage 2 pressure sores will heal within 60 days with proper treatment. Treatment of stage 2 pressure sores includes:
  • Keeping the wound clean. A health professional will regularly wash the sore with saline solution to keep it clean. Do not use hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or antiseptics on a pressure sore, because these substances can damage healing tissues. Use gauze dressings moistened with saline to cover the skin, keep it clean, and retain the wound's natural fluids. Dry dressings or bandages can slow the healing process or make the sore worse.
  • Using prescribed ointments or creams, such as those that contain enzymes that may help speed the healing process. Do not use ointments or creams that have not been prescribed or approved by a health professional.
  • Eating a nutritional diet with adequate protein, to promote healing and healthy skin.
  • Removing dead skin or tissue (debridement). If skin or tissue dies, a health professional will remove (debride) it to help the pressure sore heal and to reduce the risk of infection. Debridement procedures include:
    • Applying wet dressings to the wound. Once the dressing dries, it is removed, pulling dead skin off of the area.
    • Applying medications containing enzymes that dissolve dead tissue.
    • Bathing in whirlpool baths, which helps remove dead tissue.
    • Surgically removing dead tissue with a scalpel or scissors.



Bedsores commonly occur at the spots where pressure consistently applies. These include heel, tailbone, elbow, shoulder and back of head (when patient lies on the back for a long time), ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and ear (when patient lies on the side for a long time), shoulder blader, buttocks, heel and ball of foot (when patient sits for a long time).

Find the appropriate pressure relief mattress to prevent or heal pressure sores.

Information provided by National Library of Medicine (NLM).
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