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Pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores, are painful skin rashes that are caused by constant pressure on parts of the body, or moist conditions from wearing an adult diaper. If left untreated, pressure ulcers can become infected and be fatal. Here are several tips on how you can prevent against bedsores:
Reposition often to increase blood circulation.
Staying in one position for too long will decrease blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient supply. Bedridden individuals should be repositioned every two hours. Wheelchair users should reposition themselves every 15 minutes, and every hour by a caretaker. The individual should be lifted, not dragged or pulled – this will reduce friction and shear (when person goes one way but their skin goes the opposite direction) that can result in bedsores. Use special gel cushions and foam supports to help alleviate pressure and get the blood flowing.
Perform daily skin inspections.
Caregivers need to inspect the individual’s skin every day, especially if the person is incontinent. Common places to look for when searching for pressure ulcers are the heels, buttocks, hips, shoulders, and back of the head. Any signs of redness or warmth should raise a red flag.
Change protective undergarments as soon as possible.
Adult diaper users should be closely monitored and changed frequently as moisture from urine and feces can damage the skin. Using a wetness monitor, like the Dri Eclipse bedwetting alarm, can alert the caregiver that wetting is occuring. The enuresis alarm is simply inserted into the diaper polymer (cut a slit at the top to insert it into the diaper) and the wireless receiver is placed on the counter or desk of the caregiver.
Protect the skin with moisturizers and barrier creams.
Keep your skin well protected with special skin products designed for incontinence care. Barrier creams and ointments moisturize and protect the skin against harmful exposure from urine and fecal matter.
Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.
Nutrition plays a large role in pressure sore prevention. Get all the necessary proteins, vitamins, and minerals into your diet. Control your fluid intake as dehydration and constipation can lead to bladder problems. Avoid bladder irritants, such as coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.