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5 Home Remedies For Bed Sores

As a dementia caregiver, taking care of Mom's skin is getting to be a challenge. She sits and lays down almost all day, so we needed to find out some good home remedies for bed sores.

Here are tips and ideas for good home skin care treatments!

5 Home Remedies For Bed Sores

I will talk more about this later, but functionally our loved ones gets a bed sore from the pressure that is caused by staying in the same place for a long time. This makes their skin more fragile and likely to get a wound.

A reminder for this post, I am not a medical professional, just a gal who is trying to help keep her mom's skin from developing areas of skin that have an open wound.

If I can take care of her skin and mitigate risk factors BEFORE she has health conditions requiring medical attention then I am going to do that! Even small areas of skin irritation could turn into skin damage we don't keep after it!

That said, if your loved one has an open wound, please contact a healthcare professional… many times they can come treat your loved one at home!

How To Prevent Bed Sores

Before we get into treating bed sores or pressure ulcers, let's talk a wee bit about how to we can prevent them in the first place!

Here are some recommendations from the NCBI…

  • Avoid using hot water, instead use warm water
  • Only use mild soaps that minimize irritation and dryness of the skin
  • Avoid low humidity because it promotes scaling and dryness
  • During skin care, avoid vigorous massage over reddened, bony prominences because evidence suggest that this leads to deep tissue trauma

Source: Pressure Ulcers: A Patient Safety Issue

What Are Bed Sores?

The most common areas affected by bed sores are hips, lower back, buttocks, shoulder blades and elbows, any pointy parts or places that are flat on the bed all the time.

They are caused by pressure and friction against the skin, but they can also be caused or exacerbated by diabetes, age, loss of sensation in certain body parts, weight loss after a long illness, lack of nutrition, very dry skin with dehydration and excessive smoking.

Our Mom has lost a lot of weight because she doesn't have a great appetite anymore and before that she had poor nutrition when she lived alone. She also sits all day long, leading to her skin getting sore on her butt and back.

One thing that a home health aide said could help mitigate the risk of pressure sores was just having Mom move from one recliner to another. Just changing chairs is better than having her try to change position in the one chair she likes most which causes constant pressure on the same bony areas all the time.

Make sure you listen closely to your dementia parent because they are at a higher risk of getting bed sores as they may not even have the sensation of pain in the affected area. Bed sores are awful to treat after they become bad, so you need to keep an eye out for them beforehand.

Symptoms of Bed Sores

Bed sore trouble areas can be spotted before they get bad! Watch for things like…

  • Swelling
  • Pus
  • Skin that feels warmer or colder to the touch than the skin around it
  • Tender skin
  • Color changes in skin color or texture changes, like darker skin or thicker layers of skin

Source Mayo Clinic

Mostly it seems that the pressure on the affected part that sits on the bed, chair or wheelchair is the trouble. That constant pressure on the skin can cause the bed sore… maybe see if you can use pillows to relieve pressure on that sensitive area!

How To Treat Bed Sores Naturally

Here are some home remedies to treat bed sores or pressure ulcers. Please note that if your loved one has a bad bed sore, the recommendation is to contact their doctor if it doesn't get better within 48 hours.


Honey for Bed Sores

Honey has been a known way to treat or prevent bacterial infections for a very long time.  It is a natural antiseptic and will help soften the skin, reduce pain and promote the healing process.  

Add equal parts sugar and honey to make a thick mixture, then apply the mixture directly to the affected area and cover with a clean bandage.  Change once a day until healed.

The Role of Honey In Healing of Bedsores In Cancer Patients (source

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera for bed sores

If you’ve ever used aloe vera on sunburn, you know how well is soothes and heals! It also has an effect on infection, swelling and pain.

Apply the gel from an aloe leaf directly on a clean bed sore, gently rub it in for 5 minutes and let it dry.  Repeat three times a day.

The effect of Aloe Vera gel on prevention of pressure ulcers in patients hospitalized in the orthopedic wards: a randomized triple-blind clinical trial (source


Turmeric powder for bed sores

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant properties, which can promote healing process and reduce risk of infection.  

Apply turmeric powder on the affected skin area and cover with a clean bandage.  Repeat three times a day.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil for bed sores

Coconut oil is an effective way to treat bed sores for a number of reasons.  One is by keeping the skin moisturized (to prevent spreading and new bed sores) and also the process of messaging it in helps circulation which promotes healing.  

Just massage affected areas, and areas liable to become affected 3 or 4 times a day.

Saline Water

Saline Water For Bed Sores

Just like using salt water for mouth sores, it’s an effective remedy for bed sores.  It prevents infection and promotes healing.  

Just add 2 teaspoons of salt to a cup of boiling water to make a saline solution.  Let it cool and use it to clean sores.  Do this twice a day.  Also, use it to clean sores before using other treatments.

Natural Remedies For Bed Sores and Pressure Ulcers Wrapup

Having read a bunch to write this post, for sure avoiding letting your loved one getting a bed sore is for sure the best (there was super scary info about how many people die after having bed sores… not because of the sores, but because of the other conditions that made them immobile.)

I KNOW, sometimes it is hard to see their skin if they won't take a shower, but for sure listen to their grumblings and note if they say something is hurting it might be a pressure sore. You really need to see if there are signs of infection in their skin and tissue.

For example, Mom has been complaining about having a pain in her buttocks…. beginning sores include things like a dull pain, or they don't want to sit in their chair or they are sitting funny in their chair.

Try to move them around, even it is from bed to chair or moving them around on the bed from time to time.

If we can take this first step at home to help our high risk family members avoid getting pressure injuries in the first place, they might be able to avoid a deep tissue injury all together!

Additional Natural Care Resources: