Are you worried about your bedridden elderly loved ones? Do you know the reasons that can cause bedsores to the immovable or unconscious person? We will discuss all the precautions and tips for dealing with bedsores.
But wait! Let’s talk about the bedsores first.
What is Bedsore?
A bedsore is a medical condition in which the affected person gets an infection in the skin. The blood flow to the particular dead skin disrupts, and that ruined part of the skin starts turning into wounds. These bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers, and pressure sores. Bedsores mainly occur in bony places of the body. The most affected areas are:
- Back of the head
- Shoulder blades
People with malnutrition, diabetes, and circulation problems are highly affected by bedsores. If you cannot change the position of a person or provide a proper diet and skincare, it will take a long time to heal the infection. There are different stages of bedsores that can help you understand them better. Each step has various symptoms to diagnose bedsores. Some of them are:
- Pain in the affected area
- Light or hard skin around the area
- Open skin
- Skin discoloration
4 Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores can be diagnosed and treated according to the level of infection. To understand each stage, we will explain these stages briefly.
At this stage, the skin gets red and warm. This discoloration varies according to the skin complexion. If you have a fair complexion, the affected area’s color will be red; otherwise, it will appear purple or blue. The person may complain about pain, redness, burn, or itching at the affected area.
This step indicates the infection around the skin, and the affected area looks damaged and broken. The broken skin reveals an ulcer or a blister which can also cause pain and swell the person’s skin.
It is an alarming stage of bedsore. At this point, the ulcer becomes more profound and looks like a deep crater. You have to look after the wound regularly.
It is the most dangerous stage. The patient can face damage in muscles and bones, leading to surgery.
Besides these stages, there is an unstageable situation as well. And that unstageable bedsore is challenging to diagnose. There is a complicated and dark eschar inside the sore of the patient; that’s why it is difficult to stage this condition. The doctor may need a complete examination of the part to determine the ulcer. Sometimes, this type of bedsore also has yellow, tan, green, and brown sough, making evaluation difficult.
What Causes a Bedsore?
Before jumping to the tips for dealing with bedsores, it’s crucial to know what causes these bedsores. Let’s have a look to understand the causes of bedsores.
Bedsores can happen to a bedridden person who cannot move for an extended period. The constant pressure on a specific part can damage the skin and turns into an infection. Along with prolonged pressure, there are some other factors also involved. Friction, moisture, bad hygiene, poor diet, and poor blood circulation are the main factors to cause bedsore.
Elderly people are most likely to be the victim of bedsores. If a person can’t change the position by himself, he may be at risk of bedsores. Also, don’t let them sit in a wheelchair or lie on a bed or recliner for a long time because it can cause bedsores. If you think these bedsores are harmless, you might be wrong.
In the beginning, these pressure ulcers look harmless, but they aren’t so easy to handle after some time. These harmless bedsores quickly turn into life-threatening tissue decay. Is it look scary to you? Well, it is. Please don’t take it lightly and start taking care of your beloved elders before they become worse.
Now, let’s talk about the precautions or tips for dealing with bedsores.
incontinence is also one of the causes of a bedsore. To learn more about this and what you can do, you may read our Guide to Buying Bedwetting Alarms.
3 Tips for Dealing with Bedsores
There are many tips for dealing with bedsores, but here we will discuss the most effective ones.
1. Change the Position Frequently
One thing you can do to help your elders is repositioning their bodies; it will prevent bedsores. Shift the body every 2-3 hours to relieve the pressure on bony parts and boost blood circulation. Alternating an airflow mattress can also work for you, but this is not the only thing to do. You can arrange pillows, memory pillows, or mattress toppers for help, but also don’t forget to change the position frequently.
2. Manage Hygiene
Good hygiene is another effective way to keep the infection away. You can easily differentiate between healthy and infected skin. Incontinence hygiene can help you change, dry, and clean the wounds. Not only this, apply ointments, gels, or creams to prevent the skin from moisture and break down. Clean the area above the bones because, at this place, bacteria grow fast. Keep the contamination away and let the skin breathe.
You may check our Guide to Picking Bed Pads for Seniors for more tips and recommendations that may help in managing the hygiene of your patient.
3. Good Diet
A good diet is the most common factor that helps any unhealthy person to regain energy. To repair tissues and strengthen the skin, your elder needs food full of nutrients. Fish, citrus fruits, nuts, flax seeds, and other tissue-building food are lifesavers. Hydration also prevents tissue damage and promotes blood circulation in the body.
Follow these tips to deal with bedsores and help your elders stay healthy. Anyhow, these are preventions, but you also need to know some treatments. Primary bedsore treatments are like first aid; rest doctors can recommend the treatment after examining the infection.
For more recommendations, you may also check out our article Treatment for Bed Sores on Buttocks – The Complete Guide.
Consult with a doctor; they will recommend a suitable treatment after examining the size of the wound. You should also consult with a wound specialist to take care of the infection and stop it from developing in the skin. These sores progress rapidly from one stage to another within few days, so monitor them daily to prevent further damage. Below are the two best treatments:
- Gels, ointments, and creams
- Wound care through dressing
1. Gels, Ointments, and Creams
Make sure your skin doesn’t get contaminated due to sweat or urine because it can break down or open your skin. Apply ointments, gels, or creams prescribed by the doctor to keep your skin vulnerable. When you feel your skin is getting an infection, immediately apply gel to keep it safe from moisture.
2. Wound Care Through Dressing
Stage 1 can be treated through medication, cream, or gels, but in Stage 2, a dressing will help your wounds to heal. You can use breathable gauze pads or silicone padding for wound dressing. You have to be careful with these sores because this is a compassionate matter. Take help from a professional if your wound falls in Stage 3.
At stage 4, only surgery can help; no medication, ointment, or dressing is required.
For more tips and recommendations, check out our Guide for Picking the Right Treatments for Bed Sores.
We know it’s not easy to see your loved ones on the bed, wheelchair, or recliner. Health is wealth, and to take care of wealth, you have to become healthy. We hope you read all the precautions and treatments to deal with bedsores, follow them and help your elders.
In addition to the tips we gave in this article, another way to deal with bedsores is by using the best and most comfortable mattress. You may read our Guide to Picking the Right Mattress for Your Needs to learn more about what options are available for you.