Our expert says:
Hi J, thank you for the question.
This is a difficult question to answer over the net and I do not believe that it is only the thin skin that is contributing to the appearance of these sores.
Typically sores appear as a direct result of the thin skin, trauma or injury to the skin, and from the pressure on the skin created by being bed ridden.
Other factors may be poor nutrition and it may be a good idea for your grandmother to take a daily multivitamin (including vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin A) and mineral supplement (including calcium, zinc, and magnesium).
Furthermore it may be a good idea to start adding berries to your grandmother’s diet to try and increase the anti-oxidant levels in her body and I would also increase her lean meat intake if possible.
Further improvement can be achieved by constantly moving your grandmother from one side to the other. I would also only use a general moisturiser such as Epimax for the skin. This should be applied immediately after drying her following a bath. If the sores are predominantly on her arms you can cover her arms / hands with thick, long white socks with the toes cut out (make them like a glove) so that she can wear them to further protect her skin.
The biggest concern with thin skin in the elderly is how fragile it is and how easy it is to tear. Tears may take place due to unavoidable accidents (bumps, knocks, etc.) or even if ones fingernails are too long.
When faced with a moderate to larger skin tears it is important to treat the wound immediately and to reapply the skin. Treatment will include washing the open wound and skin with warm saline and immediately applying a dressing allowing the skin to flap back over the wound. The dressing allows the skin to remain in its place (securing the skin). The dressing needs to be left for 3–7 days if possible to allow the skin to re-establish itself.
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