Bedsores

Bedsores

 

A bed or pressure sore is a deep ulcer caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. This often occurs when a person lies in bed or sits in a chair for a long time restricting circulation. This has as result the cell destruction in the underlying tissue, the breaking down of the skin and the formation of an open ulcer.

Bedsores are most often found on skin that covers bony areas, such as the heels, ankles, buttocks, hips, sacrum, tailbone, and in every place that the skin can be fold over itself. 

Bedsores can develop quickly. Their treatment may be from easy to very hard. For this reason it is important to inspect daily the skin of the patient in order to prevent them.

The most vulnerable to develop pressure sores are people who stay for a long time to bed or to a wheelchair.

 

Stages of bedsores

Stage 1. The affected skin is not broken but it looks red and may be warm, burn, painful or itch. For those with dark skin, the bed sore may have a blue tint.

Stage 2. The affected skin is more damaged, which can result in an open sore that looks like an abrasion or a ruptured blister. The skin around the wound may be red. The area is very painful.

Stage 3. The sore usually has a crater-like appearance due to increased damage to the tissue below the skin's surface. The wound is deep.

Stage 4. The skin and tissue is severely damaged. The wound may expose bone, muscle, or tendons. Infection is very likely to occur.

 

Causes

  • Pressure on the skin and nearby tissues.
  • Illness that requires bed rest or wheelchair use. This can cause the skin to fold skin over itself.
  • Friction burns that are the result of resistance to motion. It may occur when the skin is pulled across a surface, such as bed sheets.
  • Limited mobility. It can cause damage to the vulnerable area.
  • Excess moisture. A wet skin is more likely to break down and form bedsores.

 

Factors that increase the risk of bedsores include:

  • Weakness
  • Aging, because the skin becomes more fragile and more vulnerable to damage in old people.
  • Weight loss
  • Poor nutrition
  • Inability to feel pain.
  • Bowel control.
  • Having a health problem that prevents healing, such as diabetes
  • Coma
  • Paralysis

 

Caution

The appearance of bedsores may cause some complications such as sepsis, bone and joint infections, even marjolin's ulcer (an ulcerating squamous cell carcinoma).

 

Recommendations

  • Eat a well-balanced diet plenty of fresh fruits and green vegetables, rich in protein.
  • Eliminate animal fats, junk foods, fried foods and sugar.
  • Try a mattress appropriate to relieve pressure and protect vulnerable areas.
  • Try to change your body position frequently
  • Clean the skin with mild herbal soap and warm water. Gently pat dry.
  • Use talcum powder for skin protection.
  • Use herbal teas and steam-distilled water.
  • Take supplements of vitamin A, C, D, B-complex, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and magnesium.
  • Don’t smoke, because smoking reduces blood flow and limits the amount of oxygen in the blood.
  • Take internally essential fatty acids or apply them externally to closed wounds.
  • Invest daily the pressure points for reddening in order to prevent a sore.
  • Keep the bed clean, tidy and dry.
  • If you use a wheelchair, it is good to use cushions that relieve pressure and help to ensure your body is well-positioned in the chair.
  • Apply a gauze to promote healing by keeping a wound moist. In such a way you can create a barrier against infection and you can keep the surrounding skin dry.

 

 

Beneficial Herbs

Herb

Form

Benefits

Aloe vera

Gel

Relieves pain, soothes and calms the skin. It speeds healing

Calendula

Gel, ointment, cream

Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory

Comfrey

Herbal tea, ointment, cream.

Eliminates the inflammation and severe pain. Regenerates the cell tissues.

Goldenseal

Tea extract, cream, ointment

Anti-inflammatory, anti-infective. It dries up quickly bed sore.

Lime flower

Tea

Supports the immune system and so the body become able to fight infections.

Myrrh gum

Tea, extract

Reduces the inflammation, anti-bacterial and antiseptic.

Pau d’ arco

Tea, extract, ointment, cream

Antibacterial, anti-fungal. Encourages the healing process

Suma

Tea, extract

Heals wounds. Analgesic.