First-rate care, First-rate people, First-rate value

Skin Pressure Damage Leaflet - Everyone is at risk (hints and tips for prevention) - Information for patients and carers

You could be at risk of developing a pressure ulcer if:

  • Your mobility has reduced
  • Your skin is vulnerable
  • Your appetite and food intake have reduced.

Signs to look out for are:

  • Reddening of the skin over a bony area
  • Pain over bony areas
  • Red areas on light skinned people that do not pale when pressed
  • Purple / bluish areas on dark skinned people
  • Swelling, blisters, shiny areas, dry patches, cracks, calluses
  • Hard or warm areas on your skin
  • Broken or damaged skin.

Report any of the above to your GP or Practice Nurse / District Nurse immediately. 

You can prevent pressure ulcers developing by:

  • Moving and regularly changing your position to relieve the pressure.
  • Keeping as active as you can
  • Inspecting your skin daily
  • Keeping your skin clean and moisturised
  • Obtaining advice for protective creams should incontinence occur
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Aiming to maintain a healthy weight for you
  • Keeping hydrated.

Top tips 

Skin inspection

  • Check skin for any colour changes
  • Moisturise skin after washing
  • Avoid talc and perfumed soaps as they can irritate and dry your skin.

Keep moving

  • Move/change position even if you do not feel uncomfortable
  • Move every 2 hours when in bed
  • Move every hour when in a chair
  • Avoid dragging your skin by moving/lifting your body clear of surfaces.


  • Make sure your skin is cleansed and gently patted dry
  • Apply a barrier cream as suggested by your health professional
  • You may need an assessment for specialist products. Ask your GP.

Nutrition and hydration

  • If you are underweight, try to have small meals more often and choose higher calorie and protein options
  • If you are overweight, try to reduce your weight through increasing your physical activity and following a healthy balanced diet.

Take a look at the Eat Well Guide for further advice: 

eat well guide

Areas at risk of pressure damage

areas at risk of pressure damage

People at INCREASED RISK of skin pressure damage are those who:

  • Are unable to move around without help
  • Spend a long time in bed or chair
  • Have lost feeling or sensation
  • Are frail / elderly
  • Have a serious illness
  • Are taking certain medications
  • Are incontinent
  • Are under/over weight
  • Are near the end of their life
  • Have diabetes.

For further information:



First Community provides front-line NHS community healthcare services in east Surrey and parts of West Sussex.

We provide first-rate care, through our first-rate people, offering first-rate value. For more information visit:

If you would like this information in another format, for example large print or easy read, or if you need help communicating with us:

First Community (Head Office)

Call: 01737 775450 Email: / Text: 07814 639034

Address: First Community Health and Care, Orchard House, Unit 8a, Orchard Business Centre, Bonehurst Road, Redhill RH1 5EL


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For office use only: Version 1 PFD_ASC007 Publication date: October 2020