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Home :: Bedsores

Bedsores And It's Treatment

Bedsores, also known as pressure sores, are deep ulcers that form when pressure is exerted over bony areas of the body for long periods of time, restricting circulation and leading to the death of cells in the underlying tissue. They are most commonly found on the heels, buttocks, hips, sacrum, and shoulder blades. As their name implies, they tend to occur during periods of prolonged bed rest, although wheelchair users also may develop bedsores.

Anyone who is confined to a bed, chair, or wheelchair due to illness is at risk for developing bedsores, which can range from mild to severe. An area of reddening skin that doesn't go away, even after pressure is relieved, is an indication of a developing bedsore, as is local swelling and/or hardening of the tissue. Severe bedsores can require surgery for removal of dead tissue. Bedsores are not cancerous or contagious.

Causes of bedsores

Bedsores are caused from a lack of blood flow and from mechanical stress to the skin and tissues over a bony area that has been under pressure for a prolonged period. If blood supply is cut off to an area of skin for more than 2 or 3 hours the skin is deprived of oxygen and begins to die. In addition, when slowly sliding down a bed or chair, friction to the outer skin layer such as from wrinkled bedding and clothing contribute to skin injury and ulcers. Excessive exposure to moisture such as sweat, blood, urine or faeces also increases the likelihood of bedsores. Other risk factors that causes bedsores are:-

  • malnutrition
  • anemia (lack of red blood cells)
  • diuse atrophy (muscle loss or weakness from lack of use)
  • infection

Symptoms of bedsores

Symptoms of a bedsores may include:

  • Skin tissue that feels firm or boggy
  • Skin redness, warmth, tenderness or swelling
  • Reddish or purplish skin discoloration, often over a bony area
  • Pain or itching of the skin
  • Blistering, sores, skin breakdown or drainage

Vitamins and nutrients for bedsores

Suggested dosage
Calcium and
2,000 mg daily.
1,000 mg daily.
Needed for the central nervous system and to keep bones from softening through disuse.
Kelp 500-1,000 mg daily. Provides necessary minerals.
Vitamin D 400-1,000 IU daily Essential for healing. Lack of exposure to sunshine increases the need for this nutrient
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids 3,000-10,000 mg daily in divided doses. Aids in healing, improves circulation, and enhances immune function.

Herbs to treat bedsores

  • Aloe vera gel, ointment, or cream can be applied topically to the bedsores.
  • Apply liquid lecithin, honey, or zinc ointment to clean sores and dress with a gauze bandage. Helps to treat bed sores quickly.
  • Mix equal amounts of goldenseal powder or extract and vitamin E oil with a small amount of honey to make paste, and apply the mixture to the sores often. This mixture gives fast relief and helps the healing process. Alternate this with raw honey, vitamin E cream, and aloe vera gel.
  • Calendula cream, gel, or ointment can be applied topically to the affected area. Use as directed on the label.
Considerations and prevention tips
  • Allow as much light and fresh air into the bedridden person's room as he or she can tolerate.
  • Keep the skin clean.
  • Eat a simple, well-balanced diet with plenty of raw, fresh fruits and green and yellow vegetables to ensure a good supply of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
  • Daily inspection of an immobile person's skin to detect early redness.
  • Do not use donut-ring cushions, which can cut off circulation.
  • Give frequent alcohol rubs to stimulate circulation and prevent blood vessels from closing up. Use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and cotton balls or sterile gauze to apply the alcohol. As an alternative, witch hazel can be used instead.
  • Do not elevate head of bed greater than 30 degrees, to prevent sliding.
  • Special air mattresses are available that help to decrease the pressure on sensitive areas when a person has to lie in one position for long periods of time. Anatomically shaped cushions can be used to help distribute the weight more evenly, along with special pads designed specifically for heels and elbows.
  • Change position in bed at least every 2 hours or, in a wheelchair, at least hourly. If able to move yourself, shift position every 15 minutes.
  • Special absorbent foam-like bandages can be used for persistent bedsores to reduce the pressure on sensitive areas and help promote healing.

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