Pressure Sore Pillow

What is a pressure sore?

A pressure sore is a painful lesion which is the result of skin and cartilage breaking down. Pressure sores can affect any part of the body that is subject to friction and pressure, althoughpressure sores are most likely to form on protruding parts of the body such as elbows, knees and ears.

They often take a long time to develop, slowly worsening over time, but can in some circumstances present themselves within a few hours.

You may be alerted to the presence of a pressure sore if you experience any of the following symptoms; the skin of your ear becoming discoloured. If you have light skin you will notice a red patch. If you have dark skin you will notice a blue or purple patch. This red patch will not change colour to white if it is pressed. You may also experience pain or itchiness or the skin may feel warm and hard. It may also be painful at this point.

When it progresses to the next phase, a category two pressure sore, you will notice the skin of the ear becoming broken. This continues until, in the worst cases, the wound has gone beyond the skin, cartilage and is down to the bone.

How did I get a pressure sore?

Pressure sores are caused by friction and pressure. In the case of an ear pressure sore, the friction and pressure comes from your own pillow. If you are a habitual side-sleeper and have slept on the same side each night for the entirety of your life, your ear pressing against the pillow may cause a pressure sore to form. The worst part is you’re not able to easily change sides due to the habit of sleeping on one side. This exacerbates the problem and stops the sore from healing.

How do I fix it?

In order to fix an ear pressure sore you need a pressure sore pillow. This is simply a pillow which alleviates the pressure and allows the skin to heal naturally. This is achieved relatively simply by adding a hole to a pillow, hence the company The Pillow With A Hole Ltd. They make special pressure sore pillows with a hole which remove the source of pressure, allows the body time to heal and stops the sore from recurring.

You can find their pillows online here: ask your local mobility shop to stock them.

Ellen Cone