Healthy people usually move several times during the night whilst sleeping. Although you may not be aware of these movements, they are more important than you might think.
Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers, form on bony parts of your body, such as your lower back, ankles, knees and elbows. However, they only do so if those areas come under sustained pressure, such as when you don't move whilst sleeping on your back.
Sick or Unhealthy People Are at Risk
In general, healthy people rarely suffer from bedsores. However, people that are confined to their bed for longer than usual due to illness or injury may eventually develop bedsores. According to an Australian study, 15% of hospital patients develop bedsores. In more severe cases, the bone beneath the skin might be exposed.
Sheepskin Prevents Bedsores
If you have a relative that is bedridden at home or hospital, you can help them to avoid bedsores by covering their sheets in a layer of sheepskin. Unlike your average bed sheet, sheepskin possesses qualities that prevent the formation of bedsores.
Sheepskin Disperses Pressure
A normal cotton sheet is fine if you move during your sleep. However, for someone that doesn't move, it can become quite a painful surface as all the pressure is confined to one area. However, because sheepskin fibres are coiled, they are very much like the coils inside a mattress in that they distribute the pressure over a larger area. This stops pressure sores from forming as a result of prolonged pressure on a bony area.
Sheepskin Reduces Friction
For a person that is confined to a bed for a lengthy spell of time, cotton sheets can become painful. This is because the millions of tiny fibres that make up a cotton sheet rub on the skin, damage it and contribute to the formation of bedsores.
Sheepskin, on the other hand, due to its spring-like density, reduces friction and keeps bedsores at bay.
Sheepskin Makes Moving Less Painful
Sometimes, simply moving can contribute to the formation of bedsores. For instance, when a person moves against a surface that is rough, such as a cotton bed sheet, their skin may sometimes fold over. This is known as shear force. When a fold occurs in a bedridden person's skin, the blood supply to the area is reduced, increasing the chances of skin damage occurring. Sheepskin, because it is soft and is able to distribute pressure over a large area, prevents these folds from contributing to bedsores.
If you have a relative in hospital or confined to bed at home, you should consider replacing their cotton sheets with sheepskin to ensure that they aren't plagued by bedsores during their recovery. Look around for places that work with sheepskin.