We tend to think of bed sores as something that only affect elderly medical patients. Here is the truth: there is no age range for bed sores. According to the Mayo Clinic, bed sores are most common in people who have difficulty moving, especially when it comes to changing positions while sitting or laying down. These sores are especially common among medical patients who have been confined to bed rest, whose health is generally poor and people who are paralyzed.
Of course, just because you sleep all night without moving does not mean that you are at risk for developing bed sores. In this article we are going to teach you what bed sores are, how they happen and what you can do about them.
What Are Bed Sores?
Bed sores are skin and tissue injuries that start relatively mildly but, left untreated, can become severe problems.
Bed sores start out as discolored patches on the skin, sort of like burns, but that do not lighten when they are touched or pushed, like actual burns do. These patches might be tender or painful and are often a different temperature than the skin surrounding them. If not treated, these patches turn into wounds that look a lot like blisters (both fluid filled and ruptured). Left alone, these blisters will turned into shallow wounds–sort of like when you would skin your knee after falling off your bike as a kid. S These look like craters and, often, the tissue in them will turn yellow. It is important to understand that, at this point, the damage has gone deeper than the flesh wound.
If still not treated, the sores will deepen, sometimes getting deep enough to display muscle or even the bone and the bottom of the wound will look crusty and be either yellow or black because the tissue there is dead.
How They Happen
Bed Sores are the result of prolonged pressure being placed upon the skin and the soft tissue. Basically, bed or pressure sores are the result of someone not moving at all for a very very long time.
As BedSoreFAQ points out, the later stages of this malady are almost always a result of failing to get bed sore help in a timely manner. If found on medical patients, it means the medical staff hasn’t been turning the patient or changing the bed linens properly or regularly.
What to Do About Them
Medically, your doctor (or the patient’s doctor) will want to run some tests. They will want to do tissue cultures to determine the severity of the wound and how badly it has become infected. They might also do blood tests to make sure that the infection hasn’t spread to other parts of your (or the patient’s) body.
Treatment is going to depend upon the size and severity of the sores. It often takes a team of medical professionals to properly treat the sores you have and prevent sores from developing in the future.
There are also home remedies and treatments that you can do to help ease your symptoms and, especially if you are still in the first stage of the sores, prevent them from getting worse.
The most important one is to change your position regularly. Shift in your seat, cross and uncross your legs. Get up and move around if you can. You can also use cushions to help absorb some of the pressure that you are putting on your skin.
Make sure you are bathing regularly. Keeping your existing sores cleaned and dressed will help keep them from getting infected and getting worse. You can also add some Zinc, Goldenseal and Vitamin C to your diet ot help speed up the healing process and bolster your body’s tissues to keep more sores from developing.
Bed sores are difficult but, if caught early, can be treated with minimal disruption to your life. They are also preventable! Use this article to help keep them away from yourself and the people you love.