Bed Sores

Bed sores refer to ulcers of the skin that are formed during prolonged bed rest, which causes sustained pressure over bony areas of the body, such as the buttocks, hips, sacrum, and shoulder blades. Bed sore symptoms include areas of redness, deep ulceration, and pain in the affected areas.

What To Consider

Bed sores primarily affect patients who are physically restricted and bedridden, such as the disabled and people in coma. Elderly patients are also prone to bed sores. Patients need to be moved frequently, and also require fresh air and light bed clothes. Daily baths with gentle soaps containing vitamin E and aloe vera, and sufficient natural light can be helpful in preventing bed sores.

Should bed sores occur, they should usually start to heal within a week, but may take up to six weeks, depending on their severity.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Drink plenty of liquids (filtered water, herbal teas, fresh juices). Also include plenty of fiber in the diet to keep the colon clean, and eat at least five to seven servings of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables a day.

Nutritional Supplementation
The following supplements can be helpful in treating and preventing bed sores: vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin D3, and zinc. Free-form amino acids can also help, as can garlic capsules, to boost immunity and healing response. If bed sores still persist, pancreatic enzymes in between meals (6-12 per day for one week) may be helpful, as well.

Flower Essences
Rescue Remedy Cream can be applied (minimum four times a day) on unbroken skin around, but not directly on, sores or ulcers.

Herbs
Comfrey root powder, echinacea powder, goldenseal, myrrh gum, pau d'arco, slippery elm powder, and suma, taken as teas, tinctures, and in the form of herbal compresses, can all help to speed the healing of bed sores. A standard naturopathic approach is to wash the open wound with Calendula succus (juice of the marigold flower) and then cover it with zinc oxide.

Homeopathy
Calendula, Hypericum, Merc sol., Chamomilla, Phosphorus, Hamamelis, Silicea, and Belladonna are the most useful homeopathic remedies for treating bed sores.

Hydrotherapy
Contrast (hot and cold) application: apply several times daily to promote healing. Periodic cold compresses can also help to stimulate sore areas.

Juice Therapy
Carrot, beet, cantaloupe, currant, and/or red grape juice all help to speed healing.

Topical Treatment
Apply the paste of goldenseal powder, vitamin E squeezed from capsule, and with zinc oxide to the affected areas. Enzyme cream, vitamin E cream, aloe vera gel, comfrey ointment, and/or calendula cream are also effective topical treatments for bed sores.

According to Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O., the "safest and oldest approach for treating bed sores resulting in open ulcers the application of raw honey or granulated sugar paste to the open ulcers-now been well-researched medically and shown to be at least as effective as medicated creams."

Colloidal silver applied topically, and the use of silver bandages (bandages with colloidal silver applied to them), can also promote rapid healing.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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