Home remedies for Bed Sores include the use of honey, Aloe Vera, papaya milk, comfrey leaves, elm, turmeric powder, witch hazel, myrrh, a vitamin and fiber rich diet, and water. Bed sores are lesions or wounds, which in the due course of time take the shape of an ulcer, resulting in itching and inflammation of the surrounding area.
If not treated in an appropriate amount of time, bed sores may lead to life-threatening situations. These can be avoided by keeping oneself clean and dry and changing your posture regularly, so as to avoid pressure being built up at a particular area.
Decubitous ulcer, which in common terms is referred to as bed sores, pressure sores, or ulcers may simply be described as a lesion, break, or swelling in the skin that fails to heal and the damaged area then develops inflammation of the area surrounding it. Such sores occur mostly in bedridden, disabled, paralyzed, coma patients, and many elderly and senior citizens of the world who aren’t able to alter their positions regularly, leading to increased pressure over abaxial portions of the body.
These specific areas include the buttocks, pelvis, heels, lower side of the legs, and the back. Resting patients who have underwent operations also suffer from bed sores at peculiar places like the spine, head, shoulder blade, and joints like the ankles, elbows, and knees due to their fixed position.
Small bed sores need to be dressed regularly, while excoriations may require plastic surgery. There are also other treatments available that are expensive, time consuming, and painful like ‘Electric Stimulation’, ‘Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy’, and the ‘Vacuum Assisted Closure’. If not treated in a timely manner, bed sores can lead to the area being cut off from rest of the body’s blood circulation, ensuing in amputation or even life-threatening situations. This helps in the maintenance of skin integrity and eliminates tiny cracks so that the further spread of inflammation and the entry of pathogens is prevented. Home remedies help in completely curing ulcers at the early stages of their appearance.
It is easy to detect the formation of bed sores at its earliest point of being observed. That is when treatment should begin. The main symptoms of bed sores are as follow:
Itching in the areas which suffer excessive pressure
Tearing or lesions on the skin, especially over bony areas
Reddened skin, which does not turn white when pressed
Affected area remains warm and tender
Pus formation or swelling, resulting in a bad smell
Sores, blisters, or small craters begin to appear at later stages
Pain in joints and muscles
Specialized care of bedridden individuals can prove advantageous in resolving bed sore development in its early stages.
Home Remedies for Bed Sores
Some of the home remedies that need to be followed before the occurrence of sores and throughout the course of development of bed sores are explained below:
Vitamin-Rich Diet: All essential vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E should be consumed by bedridden, hospitalized, and elderly individuals in order to prevent the development of bed sores. Oils containing vitamin E should also be applied over the body.
Comfrey Leaves and Elm: Equal parts of slippery elm and comfrey leaf powder should be made into a paste. This paste should be applied with a cloth over the sore, and should then be left overnight for healing. This is a very effective remedy. Use of some of these herbs is banned/restricted in some countries such as UK so consult your local health specialist before use.
Turmeric Powder: For disinfecting a pressure sore, turmeric powder can be sprinkled over the affected area.
Aloe Vera: Wounds can be cleansed with saline spray containing Aloe Vera gel to keep them clean and prevent them from spreading.
Papaya Milk: A bandage soaked with papaya ‘milk’ from either the trunk or its green fruit can be applied at least three times a day until the dead flesh is worn off.
Fiber-Rich Diet: Your body needs to heal the sores by making up the wear and tear loss and the deposition of protein fibers for quick healing. The consumption of beetroot, beans, lentil, rice bran, and fruits can definitely boost your fiber levels. Moreover, meat- and fat-rich diets should be avoided.
Honey: Dressing the bed sore area with bandage coated with a thick paste of sugar or honey causes detoxification of the wound because honey kills germs very effectively. However, the paste should not be diluted as it may enhance the growth of pathogens rather than destroying them. In Colombia, some doctors use thin slices of raw sugar for treating bedsores.
Witch Hazel and Myrrh: Sores can also be washed 2 to 4 times a day with a mixture of witch hazel that act as an astringent and myrrh that acts as a resin.
Water: Water keeps skin soft and removes dead tissues. Therefore, at least 8 to 10 glasses are a must.
Some Other House Hold Tricks for Curing Bedsores
A bedridden patient should remember to switch positions at regular intervals. A change in posture at least every 2 hours has been recommended by experts. It should also be kept in mind by the individual suffering from bed sores that smoking causes dryness and a reduced blood supply to the skin, leading to formation of bed sores as well as a deceleration of the healing process. Hence, smoking must be avoided when you are in a situation where bed sores are likely. The consumption of caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee should also be reduced.
In routine life, a ripple mattress or bed should be used to maintain proper blood circulation. To help guard the areas of the body that suffer from a lot of pressure, pillows, soft cushions, sheepskin, or blankets should also be used. While doing sedentary work for long hours, one should remove shoes and braces. People using wheel chairs should have seat cushions that fit the body well, and are comfortable on the wheel chair.
To sum up, massaging the body regularly, avoiding friction, sliding, or any kind of rubbing of the body parts, keeping oneself dry and clean all the time, and eating a nutritive and fiber-rich diet can prevent you suffering from bed sores. As is commonly said- ‘Prevention is better than a cure.’
References: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin and British Journal of Community Nursing