by Susan Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary
The long-term care setting has changed over the years: it has become an even more concerning issue because our population is no longer just older adults looking for a place to age, but now includes a wave of acutely ill individuals with multiple comorbidities. And yet despite these changes, skin issues continue to be a problem. Moisture from any source increases the skin’s permeability and decreases the barrier function. The outmost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, is normally slightly acidic and protects the body from pathogens when intact. If the skin is compromised by moisture or moisture with friction, a break in the surface can allow pathogens to enter.