Bed sore: A painful, often reddened area of degenerating, ulcerated skin caused by pressure and lack of movement, and worsened by exposure to urine or other irritating substances on the skin. Untreated bed sores can become seriously infected or gangrenous. Bed sores are a major problem for patients who are confined to bed or a wheelchair.
Signs & Symptoms:
Bedsores are classified into stages, depending on the severity of skin damage:
Stage I (earliest signs of skin damage) ” White people or people with pale skin develop a lasting patch of red skin that does not turn white when you press it with your finger. In people with darker skin, the patch may be red, purple or blue and may be more difficult to detect. The skin may be tender or itchy, and may feel warm or cold and firm.
Stage II ” The injured skin blisters or develops an open sore or abrasion that does not extend through the full thickness of the skin. There may be a surrounding area of red or purple discoloration, mild swelling and some oozing.
Stage III ” The ulcer becomes a crater and that goes below the skin surface.
Stage IV ” The crater deepens and reaches into a muscle, bone, tendon or joint.
Because broken skin can allow bacteria to enter, bedsores are extremely vulnerable to infection. This is especially true if the sore is contaminated by urine or feces. Signs of infection in a bedsore can include:
Pus draining from the sore
A foul smelling odor
Tenderness, heat and increased redness in the surrounding skin
Bedsores are injuries caused by constant and unrelieved pressure that damages the skin and underlying tissue due to lack of mobility and blood circulation (i.e., being bedridden). If you must sit or lie for prolonged periods, the surface of your seat or bed puts excessive pressure on the bony prominences or pressure points in your body. Common pressure points on the body include the tail bone (sacrum), hip bone areas, and the ankle and heel. Less common sites include the elbows, spine, ribs, and back of the head.
How To Cure:
- Change Positions
Changing the position of your body every now and then will reduce the stress and pressure on the skin that can irritate existing sores. It also reduces the risk of developing new sores.
If you have enough upper body strength, you can reposition yourself every few hours using a device like a trapeze bar.
If you are in a wheelchair, try to shift your weight every 30 minutes.
Caretakers should use bed linens to help lift and reposition you to reduce the risk of friction and shearing. This should be done every 2 to 3 hours.
- Saline Water
To help bed sores heal faster, clean the sores with saline water. Bed sores that are not cleaned properly are more prone to infection and inflammation. Saline water will reduce excess fluid and also get rid of loose dead skin.
Mix 2 teaspoons of salt in a cup of water.
Boil it, then allow it to cool.
Use this solution to clean the affected body area.
Allow the area to dry thoroughly, then cover it with a bandage.
Repeat a couple of times a day.
Turmeric accelerates the healing process of bed sores. It also has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties that help your body deal with the symptoms and fight infection.
Clean the affected area with sterile water or a saline solution. Sprinkle enough turmeric powder to cover the wound. Cover the area with a clean bandage. Repeat 3 times daily for quick healing.
You can also drink warm turmeric milk 2 times daily.