Bed sores, also called pressure sores, are a common problem faced by patients who are bed-ridden or wheel chair bound due to any reason such as coma, injury, illness etc. Bed sores occur because of lying in one position for a long time which cuts off blood supply to the skin causing bluish blackish discoloration. The sores eventually break open and form pus. If left untreated, they can turn very serious. In this guide, we will study some home remedies for treating bed sores on the buttocks and back and also effective home remedies to prevent them.
1. Bathe the patient frequently
As long as the patient is bathed and turned frequently, there is no reason why bed sores should occur. If good care is taken care of bedridden or wheelchair bound patients, then pressure sores need not occur at all.
2. Apply hot and cold compress
One of the best home remedies to treat bed sores quickly is to apply hot and cold compresses to the skin. This helps improve blood circulation to prevent sores.
3. Avoid friction
It is important not to pull the patient off the bed or the chair as it could result in friction and stretch the already delicate skin. If the patient is immobile, seek assistance to lift her/him off the bed or chair.
4. Physiotherapy and exercise
The best way to avoid these pressure sores is to keep turning the patient. If the patient is able to move a bit and follow instructions, it is important to get her/him to exercise. Walking with the help of a walker and lifting weights are a few activities to get the patient moving. The patient should not remain in the same position for a long time.
5. Proper diet
Feed the patient a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals. Talk to the doctor about supplementing with a good vitamin/mineral pill or tonic. Majority of his/her calories should come from proteins. B vitamins and zinc are also important to prevent bed sores. Avoid sugar, refined flour and sugary beverages that could reduce immunity and interfere with the body’s natural healing ability.
6. Inspect the patient’s skin from time to time
Often, due to lack of sensation, the patient is not able to determine the immensity of pressure felt by the skin which leads to bed sores. Caregivers must pay attention to the patient’s skin. Pressure sores start off as purplish red marks on the back, hips and buttocks. The moment you see them, you must take precautions to prevent them from worsening. Patients can also learn to feel temperature difference on the skin which indicates the beginning of sores. (Areas where bed sores occur are most likely warmer than other parts of the skin). One could even use a mirror to inspect their back or buttocks.
7. Apply witch hazel tea on the sores
Witch hazel tea is a popular natural home treatment for bed sores. Make a tea with this astringent solution to cleanse the skin and prevent sores. Pour the tea on the back, hips or buttocks where the bed sores are likely to occur. Repeat this remedy 3-4 times a day until the sores diminish.
8. Goldenseal, myrrh, turmeric and boric acid wash for bed sores
A tea of boric acid, myrrh and golden seal (1 teaspoon each added to a pint of hot water) can be applied to the open bed sores. You can also sprinkle golden seal and myrrh powder on the skin to eliminate bacteria and prevent complications. This herbal remedy for pressure sores quickly soothes the skin and facilitates rapid healing. Next, you may cover up the sores with a homemade bandage soaked in olive oil. Alternatively, sprinkle some turmeric over the open sores to quickly heal them and prevent infections.
9. Olive and coconut oil
Apply olive or coconut oil to the patient’s bruised skin to enable it to heal rapidly. Both coconut and olive oils have healing, anti-microbial properties that prevent skin infections.
In case it is difficult to bathe the patient daily, you can fill up a spray bottle with Lysol and spray it over the areas that are prone to pressure sores.
11. Honey and sugar poultice
Honey is naturally antibacterial and can pull out toxins from the infected areas. Make liquid syrup of honey and sugar and apply it to the bed sores to reduce pain and inflammation.
Massage the patient (provided the doctor allows it). This helps improve blood circulation and heals the skin. The skin to skin contact is also important for boosting the patient’s morale. (You can use any massage oil like baby oil or coconut or olive oils.)
13. Homemade bed sores treatment ointment
Any ointment with Aloe Vera, comfrey, wheat germ oil or zinc oxide can be used on bed sores to heal and soothe them. (Directly extract Aloe Vera plant gel and apply it on the bed sores three times a day to cure them quickly).
14. Dress the patient comfortably
Avoid tight fitting clothes and shoes with hard buttons or zippers; instead choose soft, loose, moisture wicking fabrics that do not build up heat and sweat.
It is important to take bed sores seriously as they could reach the bones and cause a fatal infection. We hope these 14 remedies help you in treat bed sores quickly at home.