Bedsores

Also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure sores, bedsores form when your skin and tissues are squeezed by the bones against any external surface. Bedsores generally develop on the parts of your body that bear your weight, especially in places where the skin is very close to the bones. When a person is bed-ridden, they usually form beneath the waist. However, such pressure sores may develop almost everywhere on one's body. The common sites where they develop include the shoulder blades, hips, bottom of the spine, elbows, heels, ankles, knees and also between your fingers and toes.

In some people, bedsores or decubitus ulcers may develop only a few hours of application of constant pressure on any part of their body. Moreover, they may vary from mild reddening of the skin to severe craters that expand into the muscles and to the bones. In fact, bedsores are not only a nuisance, but usually they are also excruciating. People who are confined to their bed or wheelchair for prolonged periods of time are likely to develop such pressure sores.

It has been observed that bedsores mostly affect patients above the age of 70 years, especially when they are confined to bed in hospitals or other facilities offering long-term care.

Causes of bedsores

Unrelenting and straight-out pressure which smashes up the skin and the tissue lying beneath it owing to absence of mobility as well as blood circulation, as in the case of bed-ridden people, are responsible for formation of bedsores. When one sits or lies for very long periods at a stretch, the surface of their seat or bed exerts too much pressure on the pressure points or the bony prominence in their body resulting in the formation of bedsores.

Some of the common pressure points in the human body comprise the sacrum (tail bone), the areas in the region of the hip bone, the heel and ankle. On the other hand, the sites that are less common include the ribs, spine, elbows, and the back part of one's head.

Aside from the above mentioned reasons, one may also develop pressure sores or bedsores as a result of friction caused by the constant rubbing of their skin against another surface. They may also occur when two different layers of one's skin slide over each other - usually moving in opposing directions and damaging the tissue lying beneath. This usually occurs when one is relocated from a bed to a stretcher or when one slides down in his/ her chair.

Presence of too much moisture usually makes the skin softer, thereby lessening the skin's resistance. This may sometimes lead to formation of pressure sores. This is likely to happen when one perspires excessively or with fecal or urinary incontinence.

Home remedies for bedsores

The best way to treat bedsores is to avoid the condition any way. If you have someone close who is bedridden, you should ensure that his/ her position is changed from time to time. At the same time, it is essential to daily examine if the person is starting to develop pressure sores or bedsores in any part of his/ her body.

The most important part of treating bedsores is to ensure that the patient is kept in a highly hygienic condition and ensure that no part of his/ her body remains wet at any time. If bedsores are detected early enough, they can be reversed. When you notice anything like pressure sores, you should begin treatment immediately.

Antiseptic powder is one of the most excellent home remedies for pressure sores. Sprinkling antiseptic powder on the affected area once every 4 to 5 hours is an effective way of preventing as well as treating bedsores. It is essential for one to keep his/ her skin as dry as possible, because moisture is extremely harmful for the skin.

Applying vitamin E oil thoroughly over all parts of the body is considered to be among the best home remedies for pressure sores. In addition, people enduring bedsores would find taking a healthy diet rich in vitamins A, B, C and E and zinc very beneficial. At the same time, such people should stay away from consuming meat and must incorporate fiber in their diet.

Sugar and honey are also useful for treating bedsores. Applying a poultice of honey and sugar on the wound may help to heal it quickly. In fact, this poultice will help to get rid of poison from the affected area. Therefore, a poultice made from honey and sugar is an extremely effective home remedy for bedsores.

People with bedsores may also find Elma 01 ointment very useful. This ointment can be applied to the affected areas for healing. In addition, they may also apply wheat germ oil, aloe vera gel or comfrey on bedsores for speedy healing.

A paste made from equal amounts of slippery elm and powdered comfrey leaves is also considered to be one of the excellent home remedies for pressure sores. Place this paste on the affected area and tie the place with a piece of cloth. Allow it to remain overnight. Sprinkling Echinacea or goldenseal powder on the affected area is another effective remedy for bedsores. Cover the affected area with a cloth after sprinkling the powder. Either of these powders will help to make the affected area germ-free.

Washing the bedsores at least twice or four times daily will help to keep them disinfected and heal early. Wash the sores using a mixture of turmeric root/ myrrh/ goldenseal and witch hazel. It has been found that this remedy is very effective.

Cleaning the bedsores with a saline solution, which is readily available in your local drug stores, or any other solution prescribed by your physician or healthcare professional for disinfecting the affected areas is also a very effectual treatment for bedsores. Such cleaning of the wound should be undertaken regularly and you need to ensure that you get rid of all scabs and dead tissues from the affected area.

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