Merck Manual

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Spotlight on Aging: Pressure Sores

Spotlight on Aging: Pressure Sores

Aging itself does not cause pressure sores. But it causes changes in tissues that make pressure sores more likely to develop. As people age, the outer layers of the skin thin. Many older people have less fat and muscle, which help absorb pressure. The number of blood vessels decreases, and blood vessels rupture more easily. All wounds, including pressure sores, heal more slowly.

Certain conditions make pressure sores more likely to develop in older people: