Home Remedies for Bed Sores

nurse walking with patient who has crutchesIn this modern era, staying healthy and independent with limited mobility has never been simpler. Wheelchairs, rollators, canes, and bed rails are just a few of the many devices designed to help people who are unable to stand or walk without assistance. However, when such mobility aids become a way of life, there are often certain side effects that must be contended with. For people who spend most of their day in a bed or a wheelchair, bed sores (also known as pressure sores,) can a very serious risk. Bed sores are ulcers on the skin—similar to blisters—that develop as a result of the patient being unable to frequently shift their position when lying in bed or sitting in a transport chair. This leads to sustained pressure and friction, which cuts off blood and oxygen to the tissues, causing them to become fragile and eventually die. Bed sores can develop quite quickly, and when left untreated can become severe, so it’s important your treatment be quick and effective. Here are some home remedies to help treat bedsores as soon as they appear.

Wash Up: When attempting to heal pressure sores, it’s important to keep them clean at all times to avoid the risk of infection or further inflammation. In addition to disinfectant such as ointment, cream, or alcohol swabs, try washing the sores with fresh water and a mild soap, or saltwater (saline solution,) if the sore has already become an open wound. However you clean bedsores, make sure that you do it at least a couple of times a day.

Stay Protected: Once you’ve made sure the wound is clean, it’s important to dress it properly to protect it from infection and keep the surrounding skin healthy. Materials such as gauze, gel, foam, treated bandages, and film are all good ways to give bed sores a chance to heal, and keep them safe from a potentially harmful environment.

Eat Healthy: Your diet has a much larger effect on your overall health than you may realize, and good nutrition can give your body that extra boost it needs while it’s trying to heal. It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight while fighting bedsores, as they typically form on bony areas, so make sure you consume a diet rich in protein and nutrients. Eggs, chicken, nuts, and tofu are all great options. Foods with vitamin C and zinc, such as citrus fruits and raw vegetables have been proven to help with healing wounds, and boosting the immune system.

Keep Moving: The most important thing when treating or trying to prevent bedsores is to avoid staying in one position for too long. Bed sores are formed by sustained pressure on a single area of the body, so be certain to shift positions in bed or in your mobility device as often as you can! If you are unable to do this by yourself, have a caregiver help you, or try using a trapeze bar or the arms of your wheelchair to give yourself leverage. Specially designed mattresses can also be a good idea, as they redistribute pressure without you having to exert yourself.

Bed sores are no joke, and leaving them untreated can cause the patient’s health to deteriorate rapidly. But with constant vigilance and proper care, you can avoid this danger and start down the road to recovery!

About the Author: Elena Watson is a blogger for pressure prevention supplier JustHomeMedical.com and a student at Bard College. She spends her time researching and writing about health care, particularly child and senior wellness.


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