Caring for bed sores can be demanding but maintaining a good care regimen is key to preventing more serious conditions from developing. Several different terms are used to define bed sores (decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers, etc.), but each of these defines the same underlying condition. They refer to an area of skin that has been weakened or broken by a combination of rubbing and sustained pressure. The simplest method for reducing the risk of bed sores developing, therefore, is moving carefully and often to protect vulnerable areas from such conditions. However, the simplest method is not always the easiest.
In this blog post, Parafricta aims to explore how bed sores are often treated at home. Please be aware that this information is intended as general advice only and should not stop you from seeking the advice of verified medical professionals if you’re concerned about bed sores.
Bed Sores, Decubitus Ulcers, Pressure Ulcers: What Actually Are They?
If the multiplicity of terms used to describe bed sores seems confusing, rest assured that there is no singular definition used within the medical community either. These terms are often used interchangeably, which can be inaccurate for several reasons.
- The term bed sore can be misleading as the condition is not limited to those who are bed-bound, or who spend prolonged periods lying down.
- Meanwhile, the term pressure ulcer pays undue attention to the role of prolonged pressure on vulnerable areas of skin without acknowledging the role of friction and shear in wound degradation.
- Finally, the somewhat archaic term decubitus ulcer is limited like the phrase bed sore, as it derives from the Latin phrase meaning ‘to lie down’.
While the term bed sore is the most familiar to the general population, the medical community has largely adopted the term pressure ulcer because it doesn’t preclude wounds caused by contact with different surfaces (i.e. the seat of a wheelchair). If you would like more information about the causes, stages, and complications of bed sores, read our previous blog post: What is a Pressure Ulcer?
Treating Bed Sores at Home
As mentioned, caring for bed sores in a home environment requires a strict routine of regular and controlled movement to alleviate pressure on affected or at-risk areas. It is best to use soft, low-friction fabrics to moderate the friction and shear caused by these movements. Various products are available to help with this, wherever the affected areas may be. For example, Parafricta bedding allows users to easily and comfortably turn in bed without shearing vulnerable areas of the body (hips, trunk, etc.).
Maintaining a careful movement schedule with low-friction fabrics is the foundation of any bed sore treatment plan. Although the rate and frequency of movements should be determined on a patient-to-patient basis, a general rule of thumb suggests that at-risk patients in bed should move at least once every two hours. For people who are sitting for prolonged periods, it is recommended to move once every fifteen minutes.
Most stage one and two bed sores can be managed successfully at home, using a combination of careful repositioning with low-friction fabric products and strict hygiene regimes. More severe bed sores may require treatment in a hospital or care home.
If you would like to learn more, you may be interested in our recent article on Pressure Ulcer Products: Easing Discomfort at Home
Bed Sore Treatment with Parafricta
APA Parafricta Ltd. owns a proprietary low-friction fabric known for its silk-like qualities. It has demonstrated unique potential in helping remediate bed sores and reducing the risk of their formation in at-risk individuals. If you would like more information about using Parafricta fabrics to help treat bed sores at home, simply contact a member of the team today.