Skin Conditions/Skin Care

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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).

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Human skin is home to many types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that compose the skin microbiota or microbiome. As with microorganisms in the gut, these organisms have an important role in protecting from pathogens and breaking down natural products. The sheer quantity of life found in the skin microbiome is staggering. It often contains up to one billion microorganisms on a single square centimeter.

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Urinary incontinence is a relatively common condition marked by loss of control of the bladder. In severe cases, it can have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of patients with this condition. Because of the sensitive and embarrassing nature of the topic, urinary incontinence tends to be underreported.

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Absorbent briefs: Briefs used to absorb urine and stool and to help prevent moisture-associated skin damage in patients with incontinence issues. Briefs with high breathability and wicking help to maintain the skin microclimate.

Barrier products: Creams, sprays, wipes, or other products used to seal the skin and protect it from breakdown caused by moisture or incontinence.

Cyanoacrylates: A skin sealant that bonds to the skin surface and integrates with the epidermis. Cyanoacrylates are strong and resistant to washing off.

Dianne Rudolph's picture

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) is a common problem for wound clinicians. It connotes a spectrum of skin damage caused by inflammation and erosion (or denudation) of the epidermis resulting from prolonged exposure to various sources of moisture and potential irritants. These can include urine, stool, perspiration, wound exudates, or ostomy effluent. MASD includes several different categories: incontinence-associated dermatitis (AID), intertriginous dermatitis, periwound skin damage, and peristomal MASD. Of these categories, IAD is one of the more challenging issues for clinicians to recognize and treat. It is not uncommon for IAD to be inaccurately assessed as a stage 2 pressure injury. For the purposes of this blog, the focus is on differentiating between IAD and pressure injuries. Treatment strategies are also addressed.

Holly Hovan's picture
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elderly patient skin tear prevention

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

Most of us are familiar with the terms "prednisone skin," "thin skin," "fragile skin," or "easily bruises." One or all of these phrases are commonly used to describe our geriatric population's aging skin. As we age, so does our skin. Older adults have older skin. Skin loses elasticity and often gains wrinkles. Skin conditions that may never have been present earlier in life can crop up with aging. Keep in mind that the environment and different exposures (to sunlight, smoking, and stress) can cause our skin to age differently. Additionally, certain drugs, obesity, diet or lifestyle, habits, exercise, repetitive movements, and family history can also influence how our skin ages. Exposure to radiation (for cancer treatment) can also cause skin changes several years after treatment is complete. Regardless of the reason, as we age, our skin composition changes, and undoubtedly the risk for skin tears increases.

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By Susan Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP

The subject of my previous blog on skin assessment was interview; here in part 2, we will look at the elements of observation. Interviewing clients and significant others can provide the clinician with valuable information related to the client’s knowledge of their situation and a historic review of skin issues or potential events. However, observation is also necessary in a comprehensive skin assessment.

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By the WoundSource Editors

Lower extremity wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs), venous ulcers, and arterial ulcers have been linked to poor patient outcomes, such as patient mortality and recurrence of the wound. Although precise recurrence rates can be difficult to determine and can vary across different patient populations, we do know that the recurrence rates of lower extremity wounds are quite high.