Q:

What are some treatments for bedsores?

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Quick Answer

Treatment for bedsores, or pressure ulcers, includes clearing away dead tissue and dressing the wounds, according to Merck. A person with bedsores must also be repositioned frequently and supported with padded materials to relieve pressure on the affected skin tissue. Doctors prescribe antibiotics and pain medications for infection and pain symptoms and may recommend surgical grafts to repair major skin damage around large open wounds, especially in bony areas.

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Full Answer

Physicians use a procedure known as debridement to clean dead skin from bedsore wounds and promote new cell growth, Merck states. Depending on the severity, doctors may use cleaning solutions or a whirlpool bath to sterilize the area and manually extract dead tissue with a scalpel or surgery. To avoid worsening the symptoms, vulnerable areas of the body must be cushioned with soft surfaces, such as foam bedding, pillows and heel protectors. People who limited mobility are turned roughly every two hours and must lie in positions that reduce pressure and friction on existing bedsores.

Bedsores form when skin cells are deprived of oxygen and die off due to constant pressure, friction or moisture, according to Mayo Clinic. Bony areas, such as hips, ankles and tailbones, are highly vulnerable because muscle traction or pressure from hard surfaces creates tension on the skin and body. Bedsores commonly affect immobile people in health care settings, such as elderly or wheelchair-bound patients, who are unable to reposition themselves and enable healthy blood flow throughout the day.

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