How do we treat early bedsores?

2 answers | Last updated: Oct 16, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What is the general way of handle bedsores that are just appearing?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Bedsores (or pressure sores/ulcers) occur when there is sustained pressure on a skin surface, which cuts off the circulation to that body part. With too much pressure, the skin in that area begins to get damaged, leading to the development of a sore. This is especially common in areas over a bony prominence (an area where the bone protrudes and you can feel it through the skin), like the buttocks, hips and heels.

There are several risk factors that make the development of pressure sores more likely. They include: 1) Moisture: from sweating, incontinence 2) Friction: from sliding down in a wheelchair or in bed 3) Poor mobility: someone who is bed or chair bound and cannot change position themselves. 4) Poor nutrition/ low protein intake

Since you are caring for someone who is already developing a pressure sore, you need to review the risk factors and try to reduce their impact. For example, if someone is incontinent, they should be changed frequently to keep them dry. Or, if someone is immobile, you should have them change position frequently (at least every two hours) to try and relieve the pressure off certain areas of the skin. Regarding nutition, it is very important that someone is eating well to give their body the tools it needs to heal and repair. Protein is very important, so make sure enough meat, dairy, or soy/veggie-based (if vegetarian) protein sources are provided each day.

Treatment of the pressure sore itself should be prescribed by a healthcare professional, like a doctor or wound care nurse. There are numerous dressings and ointments used for all types of ulcers, so your loved one needs to be evaluated for their individual pressure sore to see what is appropriate for them.

Hope this helps!

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

A very effective treatment for bedsores is CALMOSEPTINE OINTMENT. This is sold over- the- counter at most pharmacies.