How should bed sores be cleaned?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Ask your doctor to explain the best ways to keep bed sores clean. You may be instructed on how to take care of your bed sores yourself and the doctor may suggest that you wear gloves to avoid spreading germs to other body parts. But if  your bed sores are advanced, they may need to be cleaned by a wound specialist.
To prevent your bed sores from becoming infected, it's important to keep them clean. A mild bed sore - in stage I - can be washed gently with soap and water. Sores in which the skin has been broken, however, need to be cleaned with saline solution every time you change the dressing. Antiseptics like iodine and hydrogen peroxide should not be used. More serious cases, where there is an open, sunken hole or signs of infection,  may need debridement or surgery, and should be treated by medical professionals.

Continue Learning about Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)

Bed Sores (Pressure Ulcers)

The elderly and people with decreased mobility are among those most at risk for developing bed sores or pressure ulcers. People who suffer from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, paralysis and spinal cord injuries are also suscepti...

ble. Bed sores develop when skin covering a weight-bearing part of the body becomes squeezed between bone and another hard object, such as a mattress. The prolonged pressure causes a loss of blood flow to the tissue, developing into shiny red skin that blisters and forms an open sore, which becomes infected. The infection can be fatal. Treatment involves removing dead tissue and keeping the healthy skin intact.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.