Bedsores, also called pressure sores and decubitus ulcers, are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin, mostly over bony areas. Small vessels become compressed, nutrients and oxygen are restricted to the skin and underlying tissue, tissue cells begin to die and slough off, and microorganisms can invade the damaged tissue causing it to become infected.
Individuals who are at risk of developing bedsores include those who are bedridden, are unable to change positions, and those who use a wheelchair. Advanced age, poor nutrition (obesity, underweight, protein deficiency, anemia), dehydration, poor hygiene, and diabetes are other factors that increase ones risk.
Healing Bedsores Naturally
The earlier treatment is started, the better the outcome. Deep wounds should be assessed by a health care provider.
The first step of healing bedsores is to relieve all pressure from the area and to keep the wound clean. It is also important to improve general health so optimal healing can take place.
The following supplements are especially helpful when treating bedsores:
• Vitamin C is an antioxidant, is required for the production and maintenance of collagen, and protects against infection.
• Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and improves blood circulation.
• Zinc is necessary for the healing of wounds.
• Garlic is a natural antibiotic that can help prevent and treat infections. If you can not tolerate fresh garlic, capsules can be taken.
The following topical treatments can help in healing bedsores:
• Active Manuka Honey can decrease inflammation and fight bacteria, including bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It is used by many medical professionals in New Zealand to treat bedsores. Apply a small amount of Active Manuka Honey (about 1-2 teaspoons) on a sterile gauze, place over the wound, and secure. Change every 12 hours (after gently washing the bedsore with warm water).
• Calendula flowers also reduce inflammation and fight infections. In Germany, it is approved to be used to treat poorly healing wounds. Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 tablespoon of calendula flowers, cover, steep for 15 minutes, and strain. Dip a washcloth in it and apply over the affected area for at least 15 minutes. Initially, this should be done several times a day.
• Aloe vera, comfrey, witch hazel, echinacea, horsetail, and chamomile are other herbal remedies that can help in healing bedsores when applied topically.
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