Terms to Know: Skin Microbiome

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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.

Dermis: The innermost layer of skin. It is found under the basement membrane zone and is primarily a connective tissue.

Erythema: A result of injury or irritation that causes dilation of blood capillaries and manifests as patchy reddening of the skin. This is often a symptom of moisture-associated skin damage.

Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD): Dermatitis caused by exposure to the products of incontinence (urine, feces).

Intertriginous dermatitis (ITD or intertrigo): Inflammatory dermatosis of opposing skin surfaces caused by moisture. Intertrigo is often found in skin folds.

Lipid matrix: Substance responsible for slowing the movement of water and electrocytes as well as storing water needed for adequate hydration.

Microclimate: The skin flora, temperature, and pH, which help to repel water and prevent infection and breakdown. The microclimate can be interrupted by increased pH levels, exposure to incontinence, or prolonged presence of humidity.

Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD): Breakdown of the skin caused by prolonged exposure to moisture, such as perspiration, saliva, mucus, exudate, and incontinence. MASD caused by exposure to incontinence can occur more rapidly because of enzymes found in urine and fecal matter that can irritate the skin.

Stratum corneum: Also called the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. It is composed of a unified layering of keratinocytes held together by lipids.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.

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