How to avoid and treat bedsores
When a person is long lying or lying down because of an illness or age is called the formation of bedsores. The skin is under high pressure and in certain areas may appear first redness, then blister and then a sore or ulcer. To prevent this from happening or to be addressed, we recommend that you read the following article.
What are bedsores?
Patients who need to maintain their rest for long periods often suffer from the appearance of the so-called “pressure ulcers.” These wounds can be very painful and increase the inability of people to move. The scars are produced by the pressure exerted by the bones against the mattress or cushion.
In the middle is the skin, which runs out of blood and is producing necrosis. They can also be due to the humidity of an area when the person suffers from urinary incontinence. The maceration of the sacrum and the pressure of lying down is not a good combination. These sores are classified according to the number of layers of skin to which they affect. They range from the simple redness to the affectation of the bone.
The bedsores can cause infection and much suffering as they get worse if the person does not change position.
The risk factors that increase the formation of bedsores are:
- Advanced age
- Total immobility
- Urinary incontinence or lack of control of the excretory apparatus
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Slow healing diseases
- Mental Disorders (Dementia, Confusion, Alzheimer’s)
- Use of sedative medications
How to prevent bedsores?
This problem is very common in older patients and both nurses and caregivers and family members should be alert to avoid their appearance and development.
Some tips to prevent bedsores:
1. Change posture every 2 or 3 hours
Depending on the possibilities of the patient, it is necessary to rotate it sideways, in order that the blood circulates and, at the same time that the skin is not always pressed in the same place.
- For example, back cushions can be used and flipped to the right or left.
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2. Inspect vulnerable areas
There are sections of the body where the bedsores are most common: heels, hips, sacrum, knees, ears, and shoulders.
The redness should be treated promptly to prevent the sore from appearing.
3. Maintain body hygiene
Even though the person is always lying down, it perspires and becomes dirty. A complete toilet or daily shower is essential to reduce the risk of occurrence of bedsores.
- Always use neutral soap and do not rub.
- Drying is also important, as moisture accelerates the reddening process.
4. Reduce pressure points
When using cushions or special items that are available in rehabilitation or care stores, it is possible to avoid those areas of the skin that are pressed with the mattress, sofa or wheelchair.
- For example, when the legs are pressed together, a pillow can be placed between the knees.
- There are pads and other items that can serve in these cases.
5. Feed and hydrate the patient well
The balanced diet and according to the needs of the person is fundamental to improve his health and to have all the nutrients that he needs. In addition to water, infusions or soups, gelatin is recommended to increase fluid intake.
6. Avoiding heel pressure
Sleep with your feet elevated! For those with chronic inflammation in the legs, it can help to put a pillow under your feet while you are sleeping.
A cushion can be placed on the twins so that the feet are “hanging”, always taking into account that the sheets and blankets do not oppress the fingers.
For this, leave the bedding as comfortable as possible.
Two or three times a day it is very important to perform massages to increase circulation and prevent muscles from becoming numb.
The use of lotions or special creams is recommended.
Never massage the bony prominences, as they can exert more pressure on the thin layer of skin surrounding them.
8. Change clothes and sheets
Check that the clothes worn by the patient are appropriate.
- They cannot be very tight, but not too loose because, in the first case, it does not allow the skin to “breathe” and, in the second, it can roll up and exert more pressure in certain areas.
- Clothing cannot have buttons, zippers or thick seams.
- In the case of sheets, it is very important to change them periodically especially to avoid moisture and dirt.
If the patient cannot move by his own means, the person in charge should help him to exercise his legs, arms, neck, etc. These mobilizations improve circulation and reduce pressure on the bed.
Natural Remedies to Treat Light Scabs
Only in mild cases can bedsores be treated with home remedies.
Some that can serve are:
1. Aloe vera
We can get it in cream or directly cut the stem horizontally (and remove the inner gel).
Aloe vera cools the skin, increases blood flow, prevents infection and relieves instantly.
2. Milk of magnesia
It is achieved in the naturist homes and serves to reduce redness and swelling. It should be applied with cotton three times a day.
For its antibacterial properties, it helps when the sore has recently formed. It also moisturizes the skin.
Apply a little honey and cover with a bandage.
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