Importance of Nutrition and Hydration
Eating and drinking well promotes healthy skin and reduces risk of developing pressure injuries.
Eating a wide variety of food in moderation and in the right balance, provides the nutrients required to maintain healthy skin. If you/ your loved one is at risk for developing a pressure injury, or has an existing pressure injury, it is important to ensure you have enough Protein, Vitamin C, and Zinc in your diet.
Your body needs protein to help build and repair skin and other body tissues. Ensuring you eat enough protein keeps skin strong and promotes healing. Try to include one source of protein (e.g. lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, or soy) with each meal.
Vitamin C is important for wound healing and the formation of new skin tissues. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Good sources of Vitamin C include oranges, kiwis, berries, tomatoes, and broccoli.
Zinc is a mineral that is also important for wound healing and formation of new skin tissues. Food that are high in zinc include red meat (e.g. beef, mutton), milk and dairy products, shellfish (e.g. crab, prawns), beans and lentils, bread and cereals, and leafy green vegetables.
Dehydration causes skin to become more fragile and prone to injury. In addition to fluid from your food, it is recommended to drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day (1.5 litres), unless instructed otherwise by a healthcare professional.
An indicator of good hydration is urine that is pale in colour. Dark-coloured or strong-smelling urine may be a sign that you are not taking enough fluids.
Being underweight, overweight, or having diabetes can increase risk of developing a pressure injury, or poor healing of an existing pressure injury.
Being underweight reduces muscle and fat protecting the skin, increasing the chances of pressure injuries developing at the bony areas.
Being overweight puts excess pressure on the skin, and the risk of developing a pressure injury is greatly increased if you/your loved one is unable to move about much.
If you/your loved one has diabetes and has an existing pressure injury, good blood sugar control is important. High blood sugar levels can affect the function of the red blood cells that carry nutrients to the skin and surrounding tissue, and slow down wound healing.
Speak to a healthcare professional for more advice on diet, weight management, or diabetes control.
Please inform a healthcare professional if you notice signs of a pressure injury, or if you have any questions or concerns.