Skin Care

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fairground

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

My approach to wound care education with patients, providers, and nursing staff the last 20+ years has always been to make learning fun while emphasizing that wounds are a serious topic. My strong passion drives me to motivate anyone and everyone who wants to learn. If they don’t want to learn, then I’ll figure out the best way to motivate them! Everyone learns differently; however, hands-on training with added fun usually wins. Education should be ongoing and engaging, and it should create fun ways to experience more of those “aha” moments. We want to impact that long-term memory storage! Every care setting has variances, but my blog will provide you with some ideas that you can alter to fit your needs.

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WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture

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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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.

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Hand Washing During COVID-19

By Cathy Wogamon, DPN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWON

From the first announcement to the current screening, closings, and practice modifications, the novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which is the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) has increasingly created panic among the general public. For those of us in the health care profession, it has been an ongoing battle to keep up with the changing guidelines while helping the public and patients understand the virus, how it is spread, and why appointments are being rescheduled or modified in some fashion. Although the practices listed here are "preaching to the choir," it's always a good idea to review the basics.

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By Becky Naughton, RN, MSN, FNP-C, WCC

If you've ever had a painful red bump after shaving, you've probably chalked this up to razor burn or an ingrown hair. After an irritating day or so, the bumps will likely fade and disappear on their own, and you don't give it any more thought. But what if these bumps just kept growing and became more and more painful? And even worse, what if they developed in sensitive areas such as the axilla or the groin? What if these bumps got so bad, they eventually opened, started to drain, and even formed tracts under the skin? Not only are these bumps painful, but they are also embarrassing. Forget about wearing a sleeveless shirt or bathing suit in the summer. Would people think you had a horrific contagious disease? You go to doctor after doctor, but no one has been able to treat this successfully. The bumps may disappear for some time but then suddenly reappear. They may leave scars that seem to open and close persistently, and at times they may become infected, requiring antibiotic therapy. Finally, you get the diagnosis for this awful condition: hidradenitis suppurativa (HS).