Decubitus ulcer treatment aims to promote wound healing, prevent wounds from getting worse, ease pain, and prevent infections.

Decubitus ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue that typically occur due to prolonged pressure or friction. They usually happen on bony areas of the body, such as the buttocks, back, hips, heels, and ankles.

Decubitus ulcers commonly occur in people with limited mobility, including those who must remain in bed most of the time or spend extended periods in a seated position, such as people who use wheelchairs.

A complete cure for decubitus ulcers in the advanced stage can be challenging. Yet, treatment can help manage them. Let’s discuss treatments for decubitus ulcers.

Regularly changing positions relieves pressure, improves blood flow, and prevents tissue damage. Additionally, combining repositioning with supportive cushions or mattresses may reduce the risk of new bedsores or the worsening of existing ones.

Decubitus ulcer treatment may also involve friction reduction to maintain skin health. You can reduce friction by using smooth fabrics and applying protective creams or films to the skin. This helps minimize rubbing and skin damage.

Finally, proper moisture management is also important for healing decubitus ulcers. A 2017 review of studies highlighted that excessive moisture softens the skin, while too much dryness hinders healing. To maintain the optimal moisture balance, a doctor may suggest using absorbent dressings or fillers.

These medications help fight off bacterial or microbial infections. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics in treating decubitus ulcers to eliminate an underlying infection and promote healing.

The choice of antibiotic for treating decubitus ulcers depends on the severity of the infection, the specific bacteria present, and your overall health.

Typically, when you have an infection like sepsis, doctors initially prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics that can effectively target a wide range of bacteria, according to experts.

Sometimes, when a doctor uses tests to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection, they may adjust your antibiotic treatment to better target the bacteria.

Wound care and bandaging involve cleaning the wound, removing dead tissue, and applying suitable dressings to promote healing.

A 2017 study showed that receiving proper wound care and using appropriate bandaging techniques improves the healing process, prevents infection, and aids in the closure of bedsores.

These medications are essential in treating decubitus ulcers because they help ease discomfort and improve overall well-being. They can include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids prescribed by a doctor, depending on the severity of the pain.

A 2018 case report showed that topical morphine, a pain medication, effectively reduced pain levels associated with decubitus ulcers, enhancing comfort and quality of life during healing.

Opioid safety notice

Opioids are highly effective pain medications. However, it’s important to know that they do have the potential for addiction and misuse.

There are a few steps you can take for safer opioid use:

  • Tell your doctor if you have a history of substance misuse. They can carefully monitor your medication regimen during your recovery period.
  • Follow the directions listed on your prescription. Taking too much or taking a dose incorrectly, such as crushing pills before taking them, may lead to serious side effects, including difficulty breathing or overdose.
  • Speak with your doctor about what substances to avoid while taking opioids. Mixing opioids with alcohol, antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine), benzodiazepines (such as Xanax or Valium), muscle relaxants (such as Soma or Flexeril), or sleep aids (such as Ambien or Lunesta) can increase your risk of dangerously slowed breathing.
  • Store your medications in a secure place and out of reach of children. If you have unused opioid pills, take them to a community drug take-back program for disposal.
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A doctor may recommend barrier creams to help treat your decubitus ulcers. These creams create a protective layer on the skin, preventing excessive moisture and friction that can worsen the condition. They also help to maintain skin integrity and reduce the risk of infection.

According to 2018 research, consuming a balanced diet with adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals can enhance the healing process, boost your immune function, and reduce the risk of complications associated with decubitus ulcers.

Surgical interventions may be required in advanced cases or non-healing decubitus ulcers. These may include:


Debridement is a procedure that involves removing dead or infected tissue from the wound. It may help treat decubitus ulcers by removing dead and infected tissue, allowing for a clean wound bed. This promotes healing, reduces the risk of infection, and prepares the wound for further treatment options.

Skin grafts

A skin graft is a surgical technique in which a surgeon takes healthy skin from one area of your body and transplants it onto the wound site. It may help close and heal large or chronic decubitus ulcers that do not respond to other treatments.

Flap reconstruction

Flap reconstruction involves transferring healthy skin and its underlying blood vessels to cover the wound. This procedure is typically used for large, complex, or deep decubitus ulcers.

A 2017 retrospective analysis demonstrated that flap reconstruction could effectively provide sufficient tissue coverage and promote wound healing. However, it’s important to consider various risk factors to minimize postoperative complications.

You can tell that your decubitus ulcers are healing if you notice signs like reduced pain, shrinking wound size, formation of healthy granulation tissue, and the development of new skin. Additionally, improved overall wound appearance, decreased redness, and less drainage indicate healing progress.

The following are frequently asked questions about decubitus ulcer treatment.

What is the best treatment for decubitus ulcers?

The best treatment for decubitus ulcers involves a multidisciplinary approach that includes relieving pressure on the affected area, maintaining proper wound care with regular cleaning and dressing changes, and addressing underlying factors like nutrition and mobility.

Surgical interventions like debridement may be necessary in severe cases.

What’s the best treatment for bed sores on buttocks?

The best treatment for bed sores on your buttocks includes keeping the affected area clean, dry, and well-supported to relieve pressure, along with using appropriate dressings and topical medications to promote healing and prevent infection.

Consider speaking with a healthcare professional specializing in wound care for assessment and guidance.

How does a decubitus ulcer heal?

Decubitus ulcers heal by promoting new tissue growth, reducing inflammation, and preventing infection. Adequate wound care, proper nutrition, and following a doctor’s treatment recommendations support the healing process and help with the closure of decubitus ulcers.

The treatment of decubitus ulcers focuses on promoting wound healing, managing complications, and improving your comfort. Strategies like repositioning, reducing friction, and managing moisture can prevent further damage and facilitate healing.

Additionally, interventions like antibiotics, surgical procedures, pain management, and proper nutrition contribute to the comprehensive approach needed for effective treatment. By adopting these strategies, you may experience improved outlook and a better quality of life.