reddened painful skin caused by the loss of blood supply to the skin due to continuous
pressure on the affected parts.
What to look for
- a painful and swollen red patch of skin, on
any part of the skin which is pressed against something with pressure for a period of
- a raw, open sore.
Bedsores are common among those people who
Bedsores are caused by the loss of blood
supply to the skin due to continuous pressure on the affected parts. The areas usually
affected are the heels, ankles, knees, base of the spine, buttocks, hips, elbows and
shoulders. They begin being red and sore and can quickly turn into a slow healing, painful
Care must be taken to keep the patient with
bedsores dry at all times as the bedsores can easily become infected if the skin is left
damp. The people most prone to bedsores are those with diabetes, who are underweight,
overweight, paralysed, people with poor circulation or heart problems.
The normal treatment for bedsores is to
clean the wound, remove any dead skin, and cover the area with a dressing that does not
stick to the damaged skin.
To prevent bedsores from occurring try at
all costs to avoid putting excess pressure on any one area of the skin for too long.
Anyone who is bedridden must be turned regularly by a nurse. A soft material such as
sheepskin can be placed under pressure points to help lessen the likelihood of bedsores
Alternative treatments can relieve pain.
The patient must also be moved often.
Herbal Therapies -
Comfrey ointment promotes healing. To ease
minor inflammation, apply a marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) root ointment; or try a
poultice made from slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) bark, marsh mallow root, and echinacea
(Echinacea spp.) blended with a small amount of hot water. Two drops of essential tea tree
oil (Melaleuca spp.) in a cup of water makes an infection-fighting rinse.
People with bedsores need to drink plenty
of water. Certain vitamins and minerals, especially
vitamins A, C, E, and B complex, and zinc,
will benefit their skin.
Vitamin C in particular
has been shown to be effective in healing bedsores.
Personal Care at Home
Care always needs to be taken when caring
for the elderly or invalids at home.
- Make sure the person confined to bed or a
wheelchair moves his body as often as possible when awake.
- Proper cushioning is vital to prevent
As mentioned previously, people confined to
wheelchairs or beds should move frequently as well as be completely dry to avoid bedsores.
Moisturiser should be used to keep the skin supple and their sheets should be clean and
dry. Also a healthy diet will help their skin stay in good condition.
When to seek further professional advice
- the sore produces a discharge or pus.