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Are All “Sores” Considered to Be “Bed Sores?”
No, all sores are not bed sores. A bed sore is just one type of skin lesion. There are many types of sores that can stem from different sources, causes, and factors. Each type of sore is unique, and may require different treatment types. Some sores are not harmful, while others could cause serious health complications. It is important to allow a physician to diagnose your exact type of skin lesion before administering treatment.
A bed sore gets its name because it can form on someone who is on bedrest. Bed sores develop from constant pressure or friction on the skin. Too much pressure, from staying immobile in bed for hours at a time, can cut off the blood flow to the area and cause necrosis, or tissue death. A bed sore may split, exposing the underlying tissues or bone. The larger and deeper the bed sore, the higher the odds of complications. Health complications from bed sores can include infections and cellulitis, or a bacterial skin infection.
A cold sore is one of many different types of mouth sores. Mouth sores may affect the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, or floor and roof of the mouth. A cold sore is a painful and red blister that typically appears on the lips or near the mouth. It is a visible sore that is filled with fluid. Before the development of a cold sore, the patient may notice a tingling or burning sensation in the affected area. A cold sore may come with flu-like symptoms, such as low fever and swollen lymph nodes.
A canker sore is a minor type of mouth sore that typically heals within one or two weeks. It often forms on the inside of the cheek, but can arise anywhere on the mouth. Canker sores are often not serious wounds, but they can indicate a viral infection (such as herpes) or a sign of mouth cancer. It may be worth getting medical attention for a large, painful, recurring, or nonhealing canker sore.
Herpes simplex viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2 can form oral or genital skin lesions. Herpes sores appear as painful blisters, either alone or in clusters. They have clear yellow fluid that may weep from the sore and crust over to form a scab. Herpes blisters can come with flu-like symptoms and are often recurring. Illness, stress, sun exposure, or menstruation may trigger the recurrence of herpes sores. There is no known treatment to eliminate the herpes simplex virus, although some medications exist to treat related lesions.
Some sores come from allergic reactions to foods or insect bites. Allergic eczema and contact dermatitis are also forms of allergy sores. Allergy sores can be painful, itchy, red, swollen, or pus-filled depending on the allergy. They typically resolve with allergy medications and only recur around the cause of the reaction.
A psoriasis sore comes from a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and skin lesions. Psoriasis sores are typically “plaques,” or patches of skin that appear red, scaly, and inflamed. Psoriasis patches can be itchy, painful, and uncomfortable. Flare-ups may occur often in someone with psoriasis. Patches of affected skin can be very dry, cracked, or bleeding. Sores from psoriasis can make daily life difficult depending on their severity and location on the body.
A sebaceous cyst is a non-cancerous skin abnormality that may contain liquid. They develop most often on the face, neck, and torso. They are not harmful, but can grow uncomfortable. Trauma to an area of the skin can cause an oil gland or duct to become blocked or damaged, ultimately creating a sebaceous cyst. A doctor may surgically drain a sebaceous cyst or remove it entirely. See a physician for an accurate diagnosis of your, or a loved one’s sore.