Article by Angela Haldane
Q. My husband is a paraplegic and spends a lot of time in a wheelchair. We have always got to be terribly careful to keep the skin intact, as once it breaks down, it’s a long road of antibiotics and bed rest to heal it. He is trialling new wheelchair cushion to mitigate the skin problem.
I am wondering if you have any natural ways to strengthen his skin?
A. Patients of mine who regularly take the silica/calcium fluoride supplement comment on how their skin feels more resilient. It is also a brilliant wound healer. If you wish to complete a mineral questionnaire to ascertain which minerals would be specifically indicated for you husband, you can find this on this website in the 'about' section.
Zinc and vitamin A are also vital nutrients for wound healing. Vitamin C assists with collagen synthesis and repair. Should the skin break down, such as a pressure sore, Hypercal lotion by Weleda makes a speedy recovery, or Kiwiherb Calendula ointment and Comvita make a manuka honey dressing which is particularly good for ulcers.
Alternate position regularly, and try to get fresh air to the site.
Check for circulation, that extremities are warm, if limbs become cold and numb, he may accidentally tear the skin. To promote circulation, eat plenty of ginger and chilli. Chopped ginger in a teapot makes a pleasant beverage, which is also good for digestion.
A nutritious diet rich in essential fatty acids is also worthwhile – fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil etc. Lots of vegetables, rich in colour, provide antioxidants to protect and repair cells.