Bedsores, also called pressure sores or ulcers, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. This is common among people who are confined to their bed or a wheelchair for extended periods of time.
The parts of the body that are vulnerable to bedsores are the back arms and legs, lower back, buttocks, skin along the spine, shoulder blades, back of the head, skin behind the knees, ankles, and heels.
Causes of Bed Sores
- Pressure on the skin and tissues (this is the most common cause)
- Excess moisture, such as from sweat, urine, or feces
- Sliding down in a bed or chair, which can cause the skin to fold over itself
- Being pulled across bed sheets or other surfaces, which can cause friction burns
- Other risk factors are diabetes, poor nutrition, very dry skin, dehydration, loss of sensation body parts, weight loose during prolonged illnesses, and excessive smoking.
Symptoms of Bed Sores
According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, the symptoms of bedsores have different stages and categories depending on the extent of tissue damage.
Depending on the stage, the patient may have any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the affected area
- Discoloration of the skin
- Skin that doesn’t lighten to the touch
- Tearing or lesions on the skin
- Skin that’s softer or firmer than the surrounding skin
- Skin blisters with clear fluid may develop in affected areas
Prevention of Bed Sores
The likelihood of developing bedsores can be reduced by following these tips:
- Inspect the patient’s skin daily, especially around bony areas like the spine, lower back, hips, tailbone, elbows, and knees.
- Change positions often. Whether you are in bed or in a chair, see to it that you always try to move around in order to decrease the pressure on your skin.
- Keep the skin clean and dry; free of wound drainage, sweat, urine or feces.
- Have a thin layer of corn starch on your sheet to help lessen friction.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing, clothing with heavy seams and nylon underwear.
- Keep clothing and linen under the body smooth and free of wrinkles or bunches
- Since dry skin is more susceptible to being damaged, try to avoid exposing your skin to dry, cold weather.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco-based products because they can dry out the skin and reduce blood supply to the skin.
- Always keep your skin hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water.
Here Are The Some Of The Best Home Remedies For Bed Sores
Olive oil, which is rich in fatty acids, can help keep the patient’s skin healthy and protected against the damage caused by constant pressure.
Spread on some warm extra virgin olive oil all over the patient’s back, legs, and limbs. Then, massage until the oil penetrates the skin. Apply 3 or 4 times daily to heal the sores and prevent new sores from appearing.
Clean bed sores with saline water to quickly heal it. Bedsores are more prone to infections and inflammations if they are not cleaned properly. Saline water will help reduce excess fluid and also get rid of loose, dead tissue.
The roots and leaves of comfrey have medicinal properties that can lessen pain and inflammation and help in the regeneration of the tissues. Simply make a mixture by combining an equal amount of powdered comfrey leaves and slippery elm. Add a little water to make a paste and then apply it on the affected areas. Cover with a bandage and leave it on overnight. The next morning, clean the wound with saline water.
Due to its antiseptic properties, honey can soothe mild bed sores in the skin. It can reduce itching, provide relief from pain, promote healing and reduce the risk of infection.
Simply apply pure honey on the affected body area and cover it with a clean bandage. Do this once a day.
Due to its healing and soothing properties, aloe vera can promote healing of bed sores and control infection.
Extract the gel from an aloe vera leaf and apply to the affected area. Rub it for a few minutes and allow it to dry then wipe it off. Repeat these steps thrice a day.
Turmeric quickens the healing process of bed sores. Its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties help the body of the patient to fight infection and symptoms.
Sprinkle enough amount of sterile turmeric powder on the clean wound and cover it with a clean bandage. Do this thrice a day. Drinking warm turmeric milk twice a day can also give the same effects.
Aside from these natural remedies, you should also have dietary changes. Extra calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein are needed by your body in order to reduce the risk of infections and promote wound healing.
Zinc, for instance, is a mineral that promotes wound healing by repairing damaged skin tissues. Also, vitamin C is beneficial for your skin health and blood vessels.
For a wound healing diet, a guideline provided by your doctor or nutritionist should be followed.