Bed sores are common in the elderly, and others who are on bed rest. These sores are also called pressure ulcers. They are painful, and can become infected if they are not treated. It’s important that caregivers and those who are on bed rest know what bed sores symptoms are, how to treat them, and how to prevent them in the future.
Bed sores are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. This is why sores are more common in the elderly, who are on bed rest. The prolonged pressure injures the skin and these sores occur. The longer the sores are left untreated, the worse they become. These sores can result in amputation, cancer, sepsis, and a host of other unpleasant issues, therefore, it’s important to know the symptoms so you know what to look for.
- Ulcers on the skin.
- Blisters that are filled with fluid.
- Abrasions at the injury site.
- Pain where the skin is injured.
- Odor and a deeper crater.
- Skin turns black, with red around the edges.
The sores go through stages, with each stage, bringing more symptoms, and pain. As the sores become worse, they go deeper into the skin’s layers until they get to the later stages and enter the fat layer, and the muscle layer.
The easiest way to prevent a bed sore is to avoid prolonged pressure on one area of the skin. Change positions often to alleviate the pressure.
Treatments will depend on how far along the pressure ulcers have progressed. In the early stages, alleviating pressure by frequent position changes, along with cleaning and dressing the wound works well. In later stages antibiotics may be needed, along with creams to prevent the skin from being infected will help. In later stages debridement may be needed. During the debridement process, damaged tissue is removed.
Bed sores can be difficult to treat, the best course of action is being vigilant about changing position, and inspecting the skin for signs of injury. Catching the bed sore in it’s earliest stages makes treatment easier, and increases the odds of a quick, and full recovery.