Bedsores also called pressure sores and decubitus ulcer are injuries in the skin and the underlying tissues due to the continuous pressure on a specific area of the body for a long period. Pressure ulcers are mostly found on bony areas such as: ankles, tail bone, hips and heels.
Who are the most susceptible to bed sores?
The individuals who have to stay in bed for a long time and this may occur due to several reasons: due to an accident, disability, aging and obesity.
Bedsores can be completely treated, but in some cases when the complications occur cannot only be fully cured, but also may threaten life.
Complications of bedsores:
1- Cellulitis: It occurs due to an infection in the area of pressure sore and causes fever, redness of the skin and swelling.
2- Infection of bones and joints: The injuries of bedsores may extend to bones and joints causing osteomyelitis and septic arthritis.
3- Sepsis: Rarely occurred but may happen to critical untreated cases.
4- Cancer: The unhealed injuries may cause skin cancers.
Symptoms of Bedsores: There are severals signs that refers to approaching injury of pressure sores:
- Change in the skin colour and texture.
- Skin swelling.
- Presence of areas on the skin colder or warmer than the surrounding areas.
- Pus drainage.
Bedsores start with skin injuries then the underlying tissues and if they are not treated may extend to muscles and bones.
Common sites of bedsores:
Sites of pressure sores differ between the people who use wheelchairs and the people who have to stay in bed, so the sites for people in the sitting position are: Buttocks, tail bone, back of arms and legs, and the sites for people in the sleeping positions are: back of head, shoulders, elbow, lower back, inner knee, heels and ankles.
Causes of pressure ulcers:
1- Pressure: The high pressure for prolonged periods leads to lessen the blood circulation and decrease the blood flow in some body’s areas, this blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells, so when the blood flow lessens, skin and underlying tissues are damaged.
2- Frictions: The friction happens between skin and clothes makes the skin fragile and vulnerable to injury, especially if the skin is moist due to urine or sweating.
Home treatment of bedsores:
- Continuous mobility is required and if the patient is completely disabled the surroundings to him have to do this.
- Anti-bedsores mattresses are used for prevention and control because these mattresses reduce friction and improve blood flow, depending on inflating and deflating it with air every five minutes through an air pump.
- Use medical cushions and elevate your body whenever you can.
- Choose your wheelchairs carefully, the types that can distribute your body pressure.
- Self care of the bedsores by cleaning them daily using saline and drying them well.
- Cover the ulcers with sterile gauze swabs or a medical dressing especially vaseline gauze pads to moisture the injuries and accelerate healing.
- Eating healthy food helps in prevention and control of bedsores.
- Losing excess weight decreases the body pressure and improves the blood circulation.
- If you feel pain you can use non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs to relieve pain such as: Ibuprofen or Naproxen.
How to take care of skin to treat pressure ulcers:
- Keep your skin clean and dry and if you can not do it for yourself ask for help.
- Take care of skin from moisture especially if the patient can not move and go to the bathroom, then the best solution will be using adult diapers, and bed cover pads to absorb moisture.
- Use body powder to absorb sweating and moisture especially in summer.
- Watch your skin usually and be alert to any changes occurring.
Home remedies of bedsores:
5 natural substances are found at any home can be used to control bedsores and accelerate healing:
- February 2022
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