Skin Conditions/Skin Care

Holly Hovan's picture
Peristomal Skin Complications

by Holly Hovan MSN, RN-BC, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

As discussed in a prior blog, stoma location is certainly one of the key factors in successful ostomy management and independence with care at home. However, even with proper stoma siting, peristomal skin complications may occur for a variety of reasons. In this blog I discuss a few of the more common peristomal skin complications and tips for management.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Epidermis: the outer layer of the skin, which is the protective layer against the outside elements.

Epithelialization: the growth of the epidermis over a wound during the remodeling stage.

Granulation: condition occurring in a full-thickness wound where the growth of small vessels and connective tissue forms “scaffolding” as the wound rebuilds.

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Keywords: 

by the WoundSource Editors

There has been extensive research on how to prevent skin care-related skin breakdown, and most research agrees on a few main components. Eliminating skin contact with sweat, urine, and stool reduces the risk of maceration and incontinence-associated dermatitis and thereby helps to prevent or minimize skin breakdown. Proper mattress selection and offloading devices are important for minimizing the impact of weight on bony prominences. Nutritional therapy is also a key component of maintaining skin integrity. This is because this therapy supplies nutrients that the body requires, as well as hydration. Turning, repositioning, and avoiding the impact of shear force when adjusting the patient are important to eliminate mechanical forces that can break down the tissue. Most importantly, having a consistent method to assess skin integrity and using a validated scale such as the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk® (Braden Scale) are the most effective methods of tracking changes and implementing the necessary interventions based on the area or areas of deficiency.

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by the WoundSource Editors

Those working with at-risk populations must be aware of how to address the skin care needs of our patients and prevent pressure ulcers and injuries. At-risk populations, such as older adults, persons who are incontinent, pediatric patients, immobile patients, post-operative patients, and those with chronic disease processes and spinal injuries, for example, are most at risk for developing pressure ulcers. Those patients who have comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are at additional risk.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

by the WoundSource Editors

Periwound skin management is just as important as wound bed preparation in wound healing. The goal of periwound management is to maintain an optimal moist wound healing environment while preventing skin breakdown and infection. Skin is more vulnerable in patients with certain comorbidities and conditions. Periwound skin breakdown is just one of the culprits that delay wound healing and increase pain. It is important to identify conditions and risk factors early in your wound assessment to help prevent any risk of wound progress declination.

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by the WoundSource Editors

The skin is the largest organ of our body, covering 18 square feet and weighing approximately 12 pounds. Despite positive characteristics, the skin is always susceptible to and at risk of injury and breakdown. Maintaining skin integrity equals maintaining skin health, and this includes people of any age. Older adults are at a higher risk because of the skin aging process. As skin ages, the junction between the epidermis and dermis thins and flattens, reducing circulation. Moisturizing factors in older adults also reduce, thus causing dry, flaky skin and increased risk of skin breakdown.

Holly Hovan's picture
Medical Device Related Pressure Injury

by Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Recently, one of my awesome staff nurses coined a phrase that stuck with me—Mr. DoctoR Pressure Injury (MDRPI), also known as medical device-related pressure injury. MDRPIs are a common yet usually preventable problem. We wanted to raise awareness of MDRPIs for World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day in November of 2018, and one of our staff nurses was quite creative in doing so! She thought of using a doctor’s briefcase with medical devices inside, many of which can and do cause pressure injuries. Being creative and using acronyms are great ways not only to engage staff, but also to be sure that they remember the information provided to them. Additionally, hands-on props and interactive stations require engagement, which appeals to many different types of learners.

Heidi Cross's picture
Skin Changes at Life's End

by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

"If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing." —Florence Nightingale

Ouch! What an indictment of nursing and, by extension, the facility in which the nurse works. We have a lot to thank Florence Nightingale for—a brilliant woman considered to be the founder of nursing and nursing standards and the first to ever put statistics to health care, among other valuable contributions.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Case Scenarios: Wound Documentation

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, DAPWCA, FACCWS, CLTC – Wound Educator

Auditing documentation has always been part of my wound nurse role in some way or another. My first experience with auditing documentation with a fine-tooth comb was while working in the hospital wound center setting as a hyperbaric oxygen technician. Back then, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was more difficult to get reimbursed, and there were a lot of Medicare appeals. I would search through stacks of documentation to find validation for the diagnosis specific to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy indication. I quickly found out how ONE word determined reimbursement, and we are not talking pennies. The documentation is either there or it isn’t. Wound care documentation also requires the same impeccable documentation. Reimbursement is driven by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. We must follow the rules, or we do not get paid.

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Skin Tear Protocol

Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Payne and Martin brought skin tears to the attention of wound and skin specialists and to the wound care community when they reported an incidence rate of 2.23% in individuals aged 55 years and older, living in a long-term care facility. A skin tear is "a wound caused by shear, friction, and/or blunt force resulting in a separation of skin layers." Skin tears may be partial- or full-thickness wounds, develop into chronic wounds without proper treatment and follow-up, and, most importantly, are preventable.