Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are skin and underlying tissue injuries caused by excessive skin pressure. It is a painful condition often experienced by seniors with mobility issues, primarily affecting bony parts of the body, such as the feet, knees, hips, and tailbone.
Pressure sores can form on any part of the body and can develop quite quickly. create a cone-like area of damage, so what appears on the surface of the skin does not reveal the full extent of the sore. By the time evidence appears on the outer layers of skin, usually the damage has already gone much deeper. Pressure ulcers are a painful and potentially a very serious medical condition if not handled properly.
Unrelieved pressure on a single body part is where pressure sores start to develop. These sores form when tissues and blood vessels become compressed, then distorted. This can lead to poor circulation, resulting in tissue death and infection.
- Static movement. Spending a lot of time standing, sitting in a chair or lying-in bed tends to cause extended pressure and stress on a specific body part.
- Wearing a prosthesis or surgical appliance for a long period, or ill-fitting shoes or clothing. Having both pressure and a prolonged friction of objects of any material against one’s skin induce tear and soreness.
- Excessive moisture as well as skin irritants like urine and feces, which result from poor hygiene, can also contribute to ulcer formation.
- Malnutrition can cause loss of fatty tissue which serves as a cushion over pressure sensitive areas, it also leads to decreased resilience of skin tissue and decreased exposure time to develop a pressure ulcer.
- Medical conditions that affect blood supply, make skin more fragile or cause movement problems – such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, kidney failure, heart failure, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s diseases.
How to Care For Bed Sores?
- Check your skin for pressure sores every day. Ask your caregiver or someone you trust to check areas you can’t see. Make sure relieve pressure on any areas that are affected by rotating and massaging it every 15 minutes or 2 hours.
- Use special pillows, foam pads, or seat doughnuts to prop body parts in ways that distribute pressure differently and use a specialty mattress that cushions and protects vulnerable skin. In this regard utilize either foam, air or gel mattresses to treat pressure ulcers in seniors.
- Keep skin lubricated. Broken skin is especially prone to ulceration. The feet and legs are especially prone to dryness. Gently and consistently moisturize the skin to reduce friction and stress. An added bonus of helping a senior moisturize regularly is the opportunity to frequently inspect the skin for hot spots where pressure ulcers may develop.
- Clean and dress wounds properly. Use mild soaps and warm saline water to clean broken skin to prevent infection. Make sure to dress wounds with wound care products specifically developed to create the moisture barrier necessary to protect oozing wounds such as hydrogels, hydrocolloids or antimicrobials. Do not use drying agents such as alcohol or antiseptic agents like iodine cleansers or hydrogen peroxide as they can negatively affect if not outright destroy the fragile new tissue.
- If your loved one has incontinence issues, practice a routine of applying barrier cream for them. Moist skin increases the risk of pressure ulcers because it breaks down more rapidly. If there is no sign of broken skin, apply a barrier ointment to protect against moisture and irritation.
- Adequate protein intake lends to successful wound recovery. Having a good nutrition all in all boosts immunity and promotes wound healing.
- Consider alternative therapies. It is recommended to utilize colloidal silver, raw honey, bag balm, aloe vera gel and whatever at-home remedies to prevent soreness and keep one’s skin lubricated. But don’t rely solely on them for the long term, especially if your loved one has a medical condition that need to be checked on.
- Seek medical care if pain persists. This is usually an indication that pressure ulcers are at a late stage period and may develop serious infection that can permanently damage muscles and nerves and may eventually become life threatening.