Pressure sores, commonly known as bedsores, are ulcers that appear on areas of the skin that suffer prolonged pressure from lying in bed, wearing a cast, or sitting in a wheelchair for too long. While this medical condition doesn’t sound too threatening, about 60,000 people in the US die each year from getting these sores.
Avoiding these nasty ulcers can be quite easy, and there are plenty of available treatments for bedsores.
1. Remove Pressure
Removing pressure on the affected areas helps the sores from worsening. When you’re in bed, try to shift your sleeping positions now and then. This is also recommended for people who use wheelchairs to avoid skin friction.
Protecting the affected area also goes a long way.
2. Dress The Wounds
Protect the sores by using medicated gauzes, films, gels, foams, and treated coverings. Keeping the sores moist and properly covered helps facilitate faster recovery and protects them from further infections.
This next bedsore treatment might hurt a bit.
3. Keep Sores Clean
Keeping the sores well-dressed and clean is extremely vital, as it prevents possible infections. People usually use saline (water and salt) to clean the wounds, as salt has antibacterial properties. Beware, though, that cleaning bedsores might hurt.
Sometimes medical intervention might be necessary, as the next treatment option explains.
Debridement is a procedure performed by a doctor or nurse where the damaged, infected, or dead tissue is removed by either flushing the wound with water or removing the affected areas altogether.
Transplanting isn’t just for internal organs, as it turns out with the following bedsore treatment.
5. Skin Grafts
Transplanting healthy skin from one part of the body to the affected area is sometimes used as an option to treat bedsores. Recovery from this procedure can last for weeks and negatively impact everyday activities.
Medical science continues to evolve in treating wounds, and this next bedsore treatment involves a special type of therapy.
6. Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT)
Negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) is a commonly used technology that treats various kinds of burns and wounds, including bedsores. The therapy involves a suction tube that removes infected wound parts. Following the procedure, the wound is usually dressed with bandages.
Pharmaceuticals are another potential treatment option for bedsores.
To relieve pain caused by pressure sores, most physicians recommend taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Alternatively, topical antibiotics like silver sulfadiazine and nitrofurazone can treat bedsores.
Healthy snacking can create a huge difference, too.
8. Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can promote quicker healing with bedsores. So, make sure you include enough Vitamin C fruits in your diet like citrus fruits, strawberries, and tomatoes, as well as protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and beans, which are all ideal for wound healing.
Of course, good hygiene makes all the difference when it comes to healing wounds, as the next bedsore treatment suggests.
9. Observe Good Skin Care
Vanity aside, pampering your skin does a lot of good for your health. Keeping the skin clean and well-moisturized minimizes the risk of developing pressure sores on the body. It’s also best to bathe regularly in order to maintain the best skin health possible.
And if all of that fails, you might have to resort to this last method to treat bedsores.
Some pressure ulcers, especially if they have worsened or have grown over time, might need to undergo flap surgery, which is similar to skin grafting but involves more tissue components like a muscle, cartilage, and even bone. The surgery involves a tissue transfer and can take up to two months to heal.