Bed sores or pressure sores, also called pressure ulcers, are open wounds on the skin that are common among people who are confined to their bed or wheelchair for extended periods of time. They are particularly common among elderly and senior persons and patients who are immobile due to a medical condition such as coma.
When a person remains in a particular position for a long period of time, the blood supply to those areas of the skin is reduced, causing severe blisters or sores. Daily pressure on the same part of the skin for longer periods of time results in bed sores. The most commonly affected areas are hips, buttocks, lower back, and shoulder blades.
If bed sores are not treated at the early stages, the sores can break the skin and cause infection. Treating bed sores is important to avoid further complications. Stage I and Stage II bedsores usually heal within a couple of weeks, but Stage III and IV bedsores are more difficult to treat. Use these simple tips and home remedies to treat bed sores.
The first and most important treatment option for bed sores is to change the position of the patient every now and then. This will reduce the pressure and stress on the skin.
Using different types of cushions, like air filled cushions or water filled, or gel cushions can help relieve pressure sores.
Patients using wheelchairs can change their position at least once every hour with some help. Patients who are bedridden need to be repositioned every two hours.
Use Saline Water For Cleaning
Bed sores heal faster if they are washed and cleaned with saline water. Wash the sores with mild soap and water and then clean the area with salt water. Do this at least twice daily for faster healing.
If the area is not cleaned properly, it will be prone to infection and inflammation. Using saline water on the bed sores also gets rid of excess fluid and gets rid of loose dead skin. Here’s what you need to do:
Add 2 teaspoons of salt in a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Let it cool for a while and then use this solution to clean the affected area. Let the area dry completely before covering it with a bandage. Repeat this process twice daily.
Zinc helps boost the immune system and helps in wound healing. 15mg of zinc should be taken with meals three times daily to heal sores.
Vitamin C is essential for the health of skin and blood vessels. It has healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Consume fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C like citrus fruits. It is advised to take 1500mg of Vitamin C in a day, in 3 equal portions.
Tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties and accelerates the healing process of bed sores. It also has antiseptic and antioxidant properties that help fight infection.
After cleaning the affected area with saline water or sterile water, sprinkle some tumeric to cover the wound. Use a clean bandage over the sprinkled tumeric powder. Repeat this process 3 times daily.
Drinking warm tumeric milk twice daily is also beneficial and helps with quick healing of bed sores.
Use Honey And Banana Leaf
Honey is effective in treating mild bed sores as it has natural antiseptic properties. Honey also soothes the skin, provides relief from pain, reduces itching, and promotes healing. It also helps reduce the risk of infection.
Spread honey over a large banana leaf and then lie down on the banana leaf for a few hours. Repeat this daily.
If a banana leaf is not easily available, you can prepare a thick mixture of equal amounts of sugar and honey to make a paste. Apply this paste to the affected parts and cover with a clean bandage. Do this once daily.
Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has soothing and healing properties and can be used to control infection in bed sores, and promote healing. Applying aloe vera to the affected area keeps it moisturized and ensures quick recovery. Here’s what you have to do:
Cut a leaf of aloe vera in half to extract the gel. Apply the gel to the affected area and rub it gently for a few minutes. Let it dry for a while before wiping off with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat this process 3 times daily.
If aloe vera is not readily available, you can use aloe vera gel, ointment, or powder instead.
Use of vaseline or petroleum jelly keeps the skin moist and promotes healing. Skin massages also help improve blood circulation to the affected area which help the tissues around the wound regenerate fast.