Skin Conditions/Skin Care

Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, DAPWCA, FACCWS

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with the staggering statistics of one in four adults living with mental illness, I immediately was motivated to write a personal blog. I previously shared my son’s experience here in 2020, in “Wound Management Challenges in Prison Populations,” and discussed the importance of establishing a quality of wound care. I started thinking about the high number of incarcerated people with mental health issues, and it prompted me to conduct a bit more research. Given my son's dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I recall having a conversation with him during this time about debridement methods because advanced wound care would become extremely complicated. I immediately started educating him on possible dressings and debridement methods that could be used on his wound. This gave him an idea of what to expect and allowed him to decline certain treatments if he so preferred.

Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, MAPWCA, FACCWS

Many of us will eventually take on a caregiver role in one form or another. According to the 2020 update, the number of family caregivers in the United States increased by 9.5 million between 2015 and 2020. More than one in every five Americans is now a caregiver in their own home. Because of our aging population, there is an associated increase in demand for caregiving, and there should be an emphasis on education and support for this population.

Holly Hovan's picture

by Holly Hovan, MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

The literature suggests that patients with a high degree of adiposity are more at risk for inflammatory conditions, and the numbers of these patients continue to rise. Increased adipose tissue may impact activities of daily living, continence, and overall quality of life (QoL), among other complications. Abdominal (central) obesity may be associated with incontinence, mechanical and neurogenic changes (chronic strain or weakening of nerves in the pelvic area), and skinfold inflammation or irritation.

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By the WoundSource Editors

To understand the concepts of a wound and wound healing, we must examine the skin and its pathophysiology, as well as its unique structures and functions. Skin care and wound management must be grounded in a comprehensive knowledge base of the structure and functions of the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the body, covering approximately 18 square feet and weighing about 12 pounds, or up to 15% of total adult body weight. It requires one-third of an individual’s circulating blood volume to sustain it. Normal surface skin temperature is 92 degrees, compared with a core body temperature average of 98.6 degrees.

Cheryl Carver's picture

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, DAPWCA, FACCWS

The purpose of this blog is to bring special attention to common dermatologic conditions connected with drug addiction. Although drugs are well known for their significant impact on all body organs (liver, bladder, stomach, and kidneys), various physical manifestations of drug use are often unknown or underrecognized. Many clinicians and even dermatologists fail to see the many symptoms of drug misuse in the skin. Skin lesions caused by substance use may be induced by the drug itself, an allergic reaction, the drug administration method, or any contaminants or infectious agents that may have been mixed in with the drug. It is possible to identify substance users based on the shape and pattern of their skin conditions. Clinicians can learn these signs to better help patients.

Jeffrey M. Levine's picture

Jeffrey M. Levine MD, AGSF, CMD, CWSP

My colleagues, Barbara Delmore PhD, RN, CWCN, MAPWCA and Jill Cox PhD, RN, APN-c, CWOCN, and I have written a paper,1 available electronically ahead of print, that reviews the skin failure concept, defines related controversies, and proposes a model for its pathogenesis. Like all other organs, skin can fail; however, experts continue to grapple with definitions, causative factors, and manifestations.

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By Holly Hovan MSN, GERO-BC, APRN, CWOCN-AP

Intertriginous dermatitis (ITD), also referred to as intertrigo, is an inflammatory condition that affects opposing skin surfaces and can occur anywhere on the body where two surfaces are in contact. For example, the pannus or abdominal skin folds, inner gluteal cleft, and axillae are some common anatomical locations of ITD. Intertrigo is seen across care settings and is increasingly common in patients with diabetes, patients with obesity, and patients who need assistance with hygiene or self-care activities of daily living. ITD is thought to be caused by a combination of two factors: moisture trapping or overhydration of the skin and friction between opposing skin folds (skin rubbing against skin for a prolonged period of time). ITD may manifest as a linear tear at the base of a fold or a linear open area within an area of macerated skin. Tears may result from stretching of overhydrated or moist skin during routine skin assessments or from friction with cleansing.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, is the body's physical barrier to the environment. This barrier is compromised when moisture or trauma damages the epidermis. Frequently, moisture or adhesives can damage the skin and cause painful injuries. The damaged area is then more susceptible to infection and delayed healing.

Overexposure to moisture can compromise the skin's integrity by disrupting the delicate molecular arrangement of intercellular lipids in the stratum corneum and the intercellular connections between epidermal cells or corneocytes. The term moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) encompasses a spectrum of injuries characterized by denudation (inflammation and erosion) of the epidermis resulting from prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture or irritants such as wound exudate, perspiration, urine, stool, or ostomy effluent.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

Vulnerable skin within the skin microclimate is caused by a multitude of factors that are often aggravated by one another. Urine and feces, for example, have a negative impact on the skin as a result of the microorganisms and enzymes they contain. These factors break down the skin barrier and cause inflammation through the release of cytokines that trigger an immune response leading to symptoms of dermatitis (i.e., moisture-associated skin damage [MASD]). Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is one type of MASD, and the external factors that contribute to IAD include microclimate (water, temperature, pH), mechanical forces (friction, pressure, shear), and biochemical factors (fungi, irritants, bacteria, enzymes).