Bed sores are a painful skin disorder often experienced by older adults with mobility concerns, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. Most at risk are those who are in one position for a long time because they are exposed to constant pressure on one part of the body. Sores can develop very quickly on any part of the body.
What shows on the surface of the skin is only the tip of an iceberg and by the time it manifests itself on the outer layers of the skin, most probable is that the damage has already gone much deeper.
Pressure ulcers are potentially a serious medical condition and if not treated properly and timely can cause painful complications. More serious bed sores should get professional medical help while at an early stage they can be treated at home, but either way, it is crucial to get a proper diagnosis before any treatment.
Caregiver Tips on Caring for Bed Sores
- The most important thing to do first is to relieve the pressure points. Rotate the position of the person in need at least every 2 hours.
- Foam pads, lambswool, pillows or seat doughnuts are very useful to help spread pressure evenly.
- Use foam, air and gel mattress designed specifically to protect vulnerable skin.
- Use mild soaps and warm water to clean wounds properly in order to prevent infection. Use wound care products designed specifically to create moisture barrier for protecting oozing wounds to dress wounds. Change wound dressing as often as necessary.
- Dry skin is more prone to ulceration, especially in feet and legs, so it’s important to moisturize the skin consistently and gently.
- Include a barrier cream to the care routine of the person in need in order to protect the skin against excess moisture and irritation.
- As with everything, good nutrition is the key to healing speed as it boosts the immune system. Adequate protein intake will add to faster wound recovery.
- Colloidal silver, raw honey, pure Aloe Vera gel, and other self-made remedies are popular among caregivers but you should not rely solely on them.
- If pain persists, seek professional medical help. Pressure ulcers can eventually become life-threatening if not treated properly because they can cause permanent muscle and nerves damage.