People who stay confined to their beds for too long or sit for too long are at an increased risk of developing pressure sores, more commonly known as bed sores.
Bed sores develop as a result of pressure and friction on the skin and can turn into serious medical problems if left untreated. Common indications of bed sores include discoloration of the skin, pain, tearing, itching or lesions on the skin. According to the National Institutes of Health, bed sores often develop in places where the bone is close to the skin, such as on the ankles, back, elbows, knees and hips. If left untreated, bed sores can turn into ulcers and become infected. That’s why we’ve created a list of the top five bed sore treatment and prevention home remedies for you.
Prevention: Move around often
According to the Mayo Clinic, one of the best things we can do to prevent and treat bed sores is reduce pressure on certain areas of our bodies. This is especially crucial to people confined to bed rest or people in wheelchairs. If you can, get into a new position every 15 minutes or ask your caregiver to help you do so as often as possible. For those in a wheelchair, shift your weight every 15 minutes.
Prevention: Use surfaces
Another thing the Mayo Clinic recommends is taking advantage of your surfaces to treat and prevent bed sores. You can use a mattress, bed or cushions to help you lie in an appropriate position and keep pressure off your skin. Some people use foam mattresses. Others use water-filled surfaces. You can add also add a cushion to your wheelchair.
Treatment: Keep skin around your bed sore clean and moisturized
The American Medical Association recommends you do your best to keep the skin around your bed sore clean. It’s very important to do this in addition to cleaning your bed sore to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Use saline solution to clean open sores and the surrounding skin. If your sore is closed, wash with water and mild soap and pat it dry.
Treatment: Keep a healthy diet
Make sure you keep a healthy diet filled with vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and protein will help with bed sores, so try to include foods and drinks rich in those substances in your diet. Your diet affects your entire body, including your skin.
Treatment and prevention: Rub coconut oil into your skin
Coconut oil is rich in nutritious fatty acids, which will really benefit the skin. Massage coconut oil into your skin (or ask your caregiver to do so). Pay special attention to areas that you tend to spend a lot of time on, such as your back, knees and hips. Do not apply coconut oil on existing pressure sores — only around them. The massage will also help improve circulation to these areas.
Overall, the absolute best way to treat pressure sores is through prevention. Be sure you and your caregiver take as many preventative measures as possible, and talk to your doctor if you have a pressure sore for a long period of time. You may require more personalized medical treatment.
Let us know what you think about these treatments or what you do for pressure sores in the comments below.