Dealing with bedsores

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Bedsores or pressure sores are injuries on the skin and underlying tissue due to a prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores develop on bony areas of the body such as the ankles, heels, tailbone and hips. People susceptible to bed sores are those with condition that requires them to be confined on a wheelchair or bed. Bedsore develops quickly and can be difficult to treat.

Symptoms of bedsores

People susceptible to bed sores are those with condition that requires them to be confined on a wheelchair or bed.
  • Stage 1 or the earliest symptoms – pale skin or white, skin is tender and itchy. The area feels firm, cold or warm.
  • Stage 2 – the affected area develops blisters, open sores and abrasions which do not spread through the skin. It has a surrounding skin area with purple or red discoloration and can be oozing or mildly sweating.
  • Stage 3 – the ulcer develops a crater under the surface of the skin.
  • Stage 4 – the ulcer extends deeper and reaches the tendon, bone, joint and the muscles. Symptoms of infected bedsores include pus draining from the sore, foul-smelling odor, fever and tenderness, redness and heat of the surrounding skin.


  • When the skin and underlying tissues are trapped between bone and a surface such as sitting in a wheelchair or prolonged lying in bed. It usually happens if the surface is not padded with muscles or fat such as the tailbone, shoulder blades, spine, hips, elbows and heels.
  • Friction occurs when 2 surfaces moves in opposite direction such elevating a hospital bed and the head slides down in the bed.


  • Move around regularly to prevent constant pressure on the body. It distributes body weight and increases blood flow in the area. If sitting in a wheelchair, reposition for at least 2 hours or 15 minutes. Place foam wedges or pillows that are good for shifting weight.
  • Perform range of motion exercises for proper flow of blood and maintainance of muscle mass.
  • Use saline water to clean the sores to prevent infection and for fast healing of the condition. In a cup filled with boiling water, add 2 teaspoons of salt. Let it cool down and use it in cleaning the sores at least 2 times every day for fast healing of the condition.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties that lessen the risk of infection. Clean sores with water. Apply turmeric powder on sores and cover using a clean bandage. Repeat this process at least 3 times every day until there is improvement.
  • Take vitamin C supplement at least 500 mg every day for a healthy skin, improving the immune system and lessen the risk for infection. Foods rich in Vitamin C include green vegetables, lemons, oranges, and papaya.
  • Massage the affected area to increase the blood circulation and for fast healing of the condition. Massage the body using essential oils at least once every day for best results.

More Information

The details posted on this page on bedsores is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage wounds including bedsores, enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.

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