Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injuries

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Medical adhesive-related skin injuries (MARSI) result when the skin to adhesive attachment is stronger than skin cell to skin cell attachment. As a result, the epidermal layers, or epidermis, separate completely from the dermis causing changes in the skin barrier function. MARSI classifications include mechanical injuries such as epidermal stripping, tension injury or blistering, and skin tears. Epidermal stripping is frequently the mechanism seen in MARSI for neonates, while skin tears are more common in the elderly population and involve a separation of skin layers. Tension injury or blistering is often seen in orthopedic patients and is caused by a separation of the epidermis and dermis resulting from distension of skin under an unyielding tape or dressing, inappropriate strapping of tape or dressing during application, or when a joint or other area of movement is covered by unyielding tape.

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