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What are the Different Types of Bed Sores Treatment?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 17, 2024
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Bed sores treatment can be a complex task. The best course of bed sores treatment will largely depend on the stage of the sores being treated. Successful treatment options can include position changes, the use of special support items, cleansing, wound dressings, incontinence management, medications and surgery.

The type of treatment necessary to heal bed sores can vary, depending on the severity of the wound. Bed sores are usually classified in four stages, with the less severe being stage 1. Stage 1 and stage 2 sores can successfully heal within a couple of weeks and with minimal bed sores treatment. Stage 3 and stage 4 bed sores can require much more intensive care and a prolonged recovery time.

Frequent position changes are necessary to help a bed sore heal properly. People in wheelchairs are advised to change positions every 15 minutes, and people confined to beds should change positions every two hours. Individuals can find use in sheepskin while moving, because it can help keep body parts from rubbing against each other necessarily. Healthcare providers can recommend the use of cushions, pillows, pads or other items that have been specially designed to help ease the pain of bed sores. Using an average pillow can actually worsen a bed sore because of its ability to apply more pressure to an area.

Water and a gentle soap can help keep stage 1 bed sores clean. Bed sores that result in open wounds, however, will require much more careful treatment. In cases such as these, saline solutions can be used to gently cleanse the area. Dressings are not usually used as a bed sores treatment unless the sores can be classified as stage 2 or higher. Special dressings that keep moisture on the wound and keep the area around it moisture-free can be used as part of bed sores treatment.

Topical antibiotic creams and oral antibiotics can be prescribed to prevent or combat infection. Muscle relaxants can also be incorporated as part of bed sores treatment. They can prevent unnecessary movements of the body during the healing process.

Nonsurgical or surgical debridement, or the excision of infected, damaged or necrotic skin tissue, might be required. The best type of debridement depends on the particular wound being treated. A neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon or orthopedic surgeon can be called in to make that determination.

Incontinence can be an obstacle for those who suffer from bed sores. Visiting a urologist or a gastroenterologist for treatment of these issues can help keep bed sores clean and uninfected. Incontinence pads can be used while someone is still experiencing bowel problems. Medications and changes in lifestyle and behavior also can be effective at combating incontinence. An example of a beneficial lifestyle change can be the adoption of a diet that includes a healthy amount of vitamin C and zinc, which can help in the prevention and healing of bed sores.

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