Bed sore or pressure ulcer or pressure sore is a kind of skin injury where in the soft tissues of body parts susceptible to pressure get damaged. These body parts are commonly back, back of head, knee, elbows, hips, ankles, sacrum and coccyx. Patients who are bed ridden or are on wheel chair experience this condition. The main reason behind pressure sores is the restricted movement and inability to move the body parts. This results in restricted blood flow in soft tissues and causes bed sores. Other reasons can be protein deficiency, skin sweating, blood flow reduction or paralysis. The healing process of pressure ulcer depends on age of the patient as it gets difficult to get healed in older people. Other factors like smoking and diabetes can delay their cure. So, a proper lifestyle along with protein rich diet are necessary to treat bed sores. Here, we will be looking at the 4 stages of pressure ulcer along with recovery & prevention tips.
4 stages of pressure ulcer
- In the 1st stage of bed sores; the person may find discoloration of the affected skin area. The area may look thicker and harder compared to other areas. Bed sores during this stage is difficult to distinguish in dark skin.
- In the 2nd stage the bed sore turns reddish pink and is easily visible. The wound may not be bruised but an ulcer is identifiable.
- In the 3rd stage the skin tissue is lost and the wound is clearly visible. The bruise is deep exposing subcutaneous fat.
- Loss of skin tissue along with clear visibility of bone and muscles are characteristics of stage 4 of bed sores.
Up your zinc & vitamin-c intake
Consume foods rich in zinc and vitamin-c. Zinc and vitamin-c help in increasing the immunity of a person. These nutrients have healing properties. Vitamin-c is an antioxidant which can prevent skin inflammation. It also has antiseptic properties to prevent further damaging of skin tissues. Consume these nutrients in the required doses. 1500 milligrams of vitamin-c and 45 milligrams of zinc are needed to be consumed daily. Foods rich in zinc are oysters, pumpkin, beef, wheat germ, spinach, nuts, beans and mushroom. Foods rich in vitamin-c are green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, kiwi, guava, papaya, berries, tomatoes and citrus fruits.
Turmeric & honey
Turmeric and honey is a great combination for treating bed sores. These food have excellent healing properties, anti-inflammatory properties and antiseptic properties. Make a paste of them and apply it over bed sores. Cover the area with a bandage.
It is important that you don’t lie idle in the same position for hours. If you are not able to move then it is advisable that your caretaker changes your position every 2 hours. Too and fro movement exercise of legs and hands will help in proper blood flow and your body will be less prone to injuries.
Wash your bed sores using saline water. This helps in reducing inflammation of the skin and prevents dead skin from getting accumulated in the wounded areas.
Aloe vera juice has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be applied on the affected areas to prevent them from spreading.
It is important to keep yourself hydrated when suffering from bed sores. Water is important to keep your skin soft and helps in removing dead skin. So drink at least 2-3 liters of water a day.
Fiber & protein rich diet
Consume fiber and protein rich foods which can compensate for the skin injuries. Consume beans, lentils and gooseberry.
Now a days air beds, special cushions, pillows are available in the market which can significantly help in healing bed sores. They can reduce pressure in the high pressure prone areas of the body.
Bed sores when not treated or detected in time can result in pus formation, fever and bad odor from the injured part. It is then necessary to consult a doctor. In severe conditions bed sores can be surgically treated by removing the damaged skin tissue.
Pain killers and anti-biotics can be consumed to get relief from bed sores. Ibu-profen and naproxen are some of the common medicines taken.
Bed sores increase when they are sweaty and this results in spreading the infection. It is necessary to keep the affected area dry. So, sprinkle talcum powder in the sheet twice a day so that the wound is dry; which helps in its quick recovery.