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Home remedies for bed sores

Updated July 19, 2017

Pressure sores or pressure ulcers, often known as bedsores, are common for anyone who is confined to bed or a wheelchair or cannot move without help. Bedsores are products of skin damaged by insufficient blood flow. Sustained pressure on skin stops circulation. Common areas on the body susceptible to bedsores include the hips, the buttocks and the heels. Bedsores are difficult to heal and can develop quickly; however, they can be prevented and healed with home remedies.

Change Positions and Use Support Surfaces

Changing positions often aids bedsores and prevents new ones. Moving releases the pressure from the skin and increases circulation. If the patient is in a wheelchair, reposition every 15 minutes. If the patient is in a bed, reposition at least every two hours. Sheepskin, padding and powder reduce friction when moving the patient.

Support surfaces such as pillows and foam cushions reduce pressure. Ring-shaped or doughnut cushions are not recommended. Further trauma will make the sore worse.

Clean the Sore

The sore needs to be cleaned to remove dead skin. Rinse with a warm saline solution (salt water) every time the dressing is changed. Do not use antiseptics because they may damage the skin and slow healing. Baths are recommended for cleaning the skin.

Honey

Some of honey's natural characteristics include acting as a skin moisturiser, preventing allergies and accelerating healing of the skin. Honey is also known for its antiseptic qualities and its overall ability to prevent infections. Apply honey to a gauze bandage and place on the sore. A honey dressing should be changed at least every 24 hours.

Although all honey has healing powers, Manuka honey, in particular, aids with sores, wounds and burns. Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and can be purchased over the Internet. Manuka honey comes in all forms including soap, astringent, oil and ointment.

Calendula

Calendula is a homeopathic remedy that soothes skin and kills germs. The oil or ointment form best suits bedsores. As with other dressings, apply calendula to the clean bedsore. Calendula can be applied two times a day. It can be found in health-food stores or on the Internet.

Warning

Bedsores have four stages of development. Stages I and II can be treated with home remedies. However, stages III and IV need medical attention. In Stage III, the skin looks like a crater and in stage IV the sore has damaged the muscle and the bones and sometimes the tendons and the joints. If you are unsure of the stage of the bedsore, consult a doctor. Other signs that represent the need for medical attention are foul odours, redness, tenderness, warmth and swelling. Skin infections can be very serious, sometime deadly, and they can spread rapidly to the entire body.

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About the Author

Amy Beaudreault is in the dissertation stage of her Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University. She is studying xtension education, agricultural communication and rural sociology. Throughout her schooling, she has worked full-time in public relations and education. She has experience writing academic articles, newsletters, fact sheets, press releases, book reviews and Web content.