Bedsore, decubitus ulcer or pressure ulcer, is an open wound on the skin that occurs on the parts containing bones. For example, on hips, back, ankles and buttocks. Bedsores are common among people who are older, are less mobile, are stuck in a wheelchair, are paralyzed and cannot move certain body parts, or have fragile skin.
Causes Of Bedsores
- Prolonged pressure on a certain area is the main cause of a decubitus ulcer with factors such as moisture, poor circulation, and poor nutrition playing a big role. Pressure on a certain part of your body for long periods can lead to skin breakdown. Areas around the hips, heels, and tailbone are all the more vulnerable to have bedsores.
- Excessive moisture and skin irritants like urine and feces, resulting from poor hygiene, also contribute to decubitus ulcer formation.
- Friction is another contributor.
Symptoms Of Bedsores
The most common symptoms of decubitus ulcers or bedsores depend upon the stage on which the ulcer is. But the most common symptoms may include:
- Discoloration of skin
- Pain in the area
- Open wound
- Skin is different from the surrounding area (affected area being more soft or hard).
Stages Of Bedsores
Bedsores are diagnosed and treated according to the stage. There are primarily 4 stages:
Stage 1 – The skin becomes discolored. The area may appear red if someone has a fair complexion. The discoloration may vary from blue to purple if someone has a dark complexion. The skin may also be warm and inflamed.
Stage 2 – A shallow ulcer or erosion can be seen at this stage. There are chances of a blister being present in the area with fluid inside.
Stage 3 – The ulcer is present deep in the skin. It may look like a crater as it affects your fat layer.
Stage 4 – Many layers of the skin are affected at his stage, including your muscle and bone.
Unstageable – A dark and hard plaque, known as eschar may be inside the sore, which makes full evaluation and staging difficult. The ulcer may also have discolored debris known as a slough of anything between yellow, tan, green, or brown in color, which makes the entire evaluation difficult.
Treatments For Bedsores
The treatment depends on the stage and condition of the ulcer. Treatment can include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as repositioning frequently and using special off-loading cushions, as well as making healthy eating choices.
- Treatment of any infection that is present.
- Consuming antibacterial drugs.
- Keeping them clean, dry, and free of irritants is important.
- Reducing friction in the location.
- Frequent dressing changes of your wound.
Prevention of Bedsores
Bedsores can be prevented with a few simple strategies. Reposition yourself frequently, maintain proper nutrition, manage your stress, exercise on a daily basis, avoid smoking, and take good care of your skin.
- Inactivity: Prevent yourself from long periods of inactivity. For preventing and healing ulcers. Make sure you change your position while in bed or in the wheelchair after short intervals of time.
- Cleanliness: One of the main causes of bedsores can be irresponsibility towards cleanliness. If urine or feces remains in contact with the skin, acids and enzymes start degrading the skin. It is very important to clean and dry the body especially at the folds of the skin to prevent bedsores.
- Poor Nutrition: Improper nutrition causes the body to lose the fat tissues which act as cushioning over the bony, sensitive areas of the body. Due to this pressure ulcers are formed with time over these sensitive areas. Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is therefore important.
- Poor Sensation: Due to poor sensation in some areas of the body, pressure is built up which with time causes bedsores. Sensory awareness is essential to be increased in the body.
- Avoid Moisture: Excess moisture for a long period of time can cause your skin to be extra prone to pressure which with time causes bed sores.
- Friction: Friction bedsores or ulcers are caused when the skin gets damaged by high friction. To avoid this, be gentle on your skin while changing positions. Don’t rub your skin vigorously while drying, take extra care while transferring from the wheelchair to the bed.
Development of Bedsores
The people who are confined to their beds due to injury or illness, sometimes cannot move their bodies and reposition themselves. This immobility causes pressure to build upon specific areas of the body where the bones are prominent. This pressure causes the capillaries to deliver less blood than usual to the tissue. This eventually causes bedsores.
The people who show the following signs are at higher risk than others. They are:
- The people who spend most of their time in bed or on wheelchairs with very little or no movement.
- Overweight or underweight people.
- The people who can’t control their bladder or bowel movement.
- The people who have a sensory loss in some areas of their body.
- The people who spent a lot of time in one position.
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CBD And Bedsores
While ulcers can be difficult to heal, cannabinoid-based treatment is a promising way of treating such chronic wounds. According to research, a cannabinoid-based topical medicine can achieve a 90% success rate in healing chronic wounds. Cannabinoid therapies are being recommended by health professionals without a doubt.
The sterilizing properties of CBD protect the area while promoting skin cell growth and desensitizes the body from pain. It also provides antibacterial protection to the wound.
CBD is especially helpful in treating burns. In addition to helping them heal faster, continued use of CBD keeps the burn clean, reduces pain and inflammation, and prevents scarring.
Athletes or those suffering from arthritis have found relief with CBD. A lot of research has proved that CBD has strong analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. The body’s endocannabinoid system that is involved with the process of healing, is enhanced with the application of CBD topicals.
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