8. August 2011 05:54
As we age, changes happen to our skin that makes it more prone to injury. One of these changes can be skin tears. Skin tears are a separation or peeling back of the outer layer of skin. It looks like an open blister or a loose flap of skin.
Skin tears are caused by pulling movements on the arms or legs, rubbing or sliding of the skin, removal of tape, bumping into objects, falls, or they could happen for no apparent reason.
Skin tears can be concerning to both the person that has them and also to caregivers. So, what can be done to prevent them?
- Carefully handle people with fragile skin.
- Avoid harsh or pulling movements
- use proper methods to transfer, turn, lift, or position
- Pad siderails, arms, and leg supports
- Wear long sleeves or pants
- Regularly use a moisturizing cream or lotion on the skin
Even with all the care that can be provided, skin tears may still happen. So how do we treat them?
- Wash your hands for at least 15 seconds prior to caring for skin tears
- Gently rinse the wound with clean water
- Pat or air dry
- If there is a loose piece of skin still attached, put it back over the wound
- Cover with a nonstick, non-adhesive pad
- Use gauze wrap or tubular bandage to hold the pad in place
- Do not use tape on the skin
- Change the bandage if it becomes soiled or soaked with drainage, carefully remove bandage, rinse the wound gently and apply a new bandage
We would like to hear ideas for prevention from you. Please share with us!