This is Sasa, your Health Assistant from Treat at Home and we’ll get to know more about a common condition in old age and bedridden patients called Bed Sores in this article.
Bedsores also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers happen on specific area of the body that are under pressure from lying in bed, sitting in a wheelchair or wearing a cast for a prolonged time.
They can develop anywhere, but they are frequently seen in the bony parts of the elbows, knees, heels, tailbone, shoulder blades, back of the head and ankles.
Causes of Bedsores
Bedsores can be a serious problem among frail older adults. They can be related to the quality of care the person receives. Bedsores can be caused due to immobility, incontinence, lack of sensory perception, poor nutrition and other medical conditions.
Do you know incontinence leads to bed sore?
A person with incontinence is not able to prevent urine and stool from leaking. This can lead to skin problems near the buttocks, hips, genitals and between the pelvis and rectum. Excess moisture in these areas may cause skin anomalies such as redness, peeling, irritation and yeast infections.
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Steps to avoid Bedsores
– Using diapers and other products can worsen the skin problems
– Cleaning and drying the area right away after urinating or having a bowel movement is important.
– Cleaning the skin with mild, diluted soap and water, followed by rinsing well and gently patting it till it becomes dry helps in prevention.
Immobile person can also develop bed sores!
Immobility is a condition where a person is in state of not moving or motionless or inability to move or to be moved and is caused due to amputations, aging process, obesity, depression, anxiety, terminal illnesses, malnutrition, neurological conditions. When the person with immobility is not taken care properly, it may create complications like skin breakdown and bed sores.
– Keep the skin healthy
– Reposition them frequently
– Engage the patient with regular exercises
– Use diapers to keep their bed clean and dry
Other reasons for bed sores
– Lack of sensory perception
– Poor nutrition and hydration
– Medical conditions affecting blood flow
A bedsore can become deep and can extend into the muscle and bone. Once a bedsore develops, it is often very slow to heal. Depending on the severity of the bedsore, the person’s physical condition and the presence of other diseases (such as diabetes, circulatory problems). Bedsores can take days, months or even years to heal and they may need surgery to assist the healing process.
Bed Sore Stages
The area looks red and feels warm to the touch. With darker skin, the area may have a blue or purple tint. The person may also complain that it burns, hurts, or itches.
The area looks more damaged and may have an open sore, scrape, or blister. The person complains of significant pain and the skin around the wound may be discolored.
The area has a crater-like appearance due to damage below the skin’s surface.
The area is severely damaged and a large wound is present. Muscles, tendons, bones, and joints can be involved. Infection is a significant risk at this stage.
When to call a doctor?
– When there is no improvement in 24 to 48 hours
– When there is fever
– Exudation from a sore
– A sore that smells bad
– Increased redness
– Increased warmth
– Swelling around a sore
How to dress bed sores at home?
Clean open sores with water or a saltwater (saline) solution each time when the dressing is changed. Putting bandage speeds healing by keeping the wound moist. It also creates a barrier against infection and keeps skin around it dry.
Tips for Bedsores
All type of home remedies can be tried only in first stage of the bed sores. It is always better to consult a doctor when there is no change in 24hours.
Aloe gel not only increases the collagen content of the wound but also changes the collagen composition (more type III) and increases the degree of collagen cross linking. Due to this, it accelerates wound contraction and increases the breaking strength of resulting scar tissue.
Direction for use
Cut open aloe vera leaf, extract the gel, apply it on the wound, rub it for few minutes, let it dry and clean it using a clean cloth. Repeat it 2 to 3 times a day.
On its own, is very effective to heal bed sores. Its anti-microbial properties prevent any form of infection that can be caused from the sores. It reduces pain and provides relief instantly. Turmeric also heals the sores quicklywithin a few days.
Direction for use
Clean the wound with water, cover the wound with enough turmeric powder, and bandage it. Do it once a day.
– Local wound care and dressing
– Lifestyle changes, such as repositioning frequently and using special off-loading cushions, as well as making healthy eating choices
– Surgery when needed
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Author: Dr. Manasa
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