The Pathology of a Pressure Sore.
Below is a description of the pathology of pressure sores such as CNH. It makes for grim reading but be assured that with proper intervention you need never suffer the consequences of a later stage diagnosis.
Indeed, if detected and treated early, there’s every reason chondrodermatitis will heal quickly, in a matter of days in fact, with little fuss. You will know your CNH is getting better when the sore gets smaller and the red colouration of the skin gives way to pink.
Still, if you’re of the mind that knowledge is power – here is some information regarding the stages of chondrodermatitis and pressure sores in general.
This is the least severe stage. Stage one CNH only affects the upper layer of the ear’s skin.
The most common symptoms at this stage include burning and itching. The area may feel different from the skin around it. For example; it may be softer or more firm, warmer or cooler.
You will probably notice the area is slightly discoloured. On white skin the patch will appear red. On darker skin, it is harder to notice, but if the spot doesn’t get lighter when pressure is applied, even up to thirty minutes later, this means that blood isn’t properly flowing to it and it is a clear indication of chondrodermatitis.
At this point you should certainly be using a ‘Pillow with a Hole’ to relieve the pressure. You should also make sure to include plenty of protein, vitamins such as C and A and also the minerals iron and zinc. Drink plenty of water. This is all good for the skin. You can also wash the sore lightly with soap and water. Make sure to dry thoroughly.
Recovery at this point will only take a couple of days.
At this stage the chondrodermatitis ceases to be superficial and begins to dig below the surface of your skin. It will be extremely painful. You will notice that the skin is broken and there is an open wound. It may present itself as a pus-filled blister. The liquid oozing from it may be clear rather than pus-like but in any event it will be swollen, warm and extremely painful.
At this point it will be prudent to consult your doctor. At home, you can clean it with water or saline solution. Dry it gently but thoroughly.
At this stage recovery can take between three days and 3 weeks.
Chondrodermatitis at stage three has passed through the second layer of skin and is now digging into the fatty tissue beneath.
The sore will look recessed or concave and may have a bad smell due to infection. The sore itself will be red but the tissue around it may be black because it has died.
At this stage CNH is serious and you should definitely consult your doctor. Antibiotics to fight the infection may be prescribed and they may remove some of the dead tissue.
At stage three, recovery can take between one and four months.
When chondrodermatitis reaches stage four, it is extremely serious.
The symptoms will be profound. A deep, large sore. The associated skin, blackened. There will be signs of infection, red edges, heat and drainage. At this point the CNH will have eaten through all layers of skin and fat and will be down to the cartilage of the ear.
You may need surgery at this point and the recovery time is measured in months to years.
As we can see – CNH can develop to become extremely serious but it need never get anywhere near this level of severity. With proper care and a ‘Pillow with a Hole’, you will be absolutely fine.