Skin Tears

Holly Hovan's picture
Keywords: 
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.

WoundSource Editors's picture
COVID-19

By the WoundSource Editors

As a response to increasing rates of infection with the novel coronavirus (which causes an illness termedCOVID-19), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and all major medical organizations are advising individuals to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently and for at least 20 seconds. This step will likely make a tremendous impact on mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Although we don’t have current and available data on how effective hand washing will be to stop this specific virus, we do have extensive accurate and reliable data on how much hand washing can reduce the potential transmission of infection. One study found that proper hand washing cut the risk of respiratory infection by 16%, and a subsequent study demonstrated a 21% reduction in transmission.

WoundSource Practice Accelerator's picture
Pressure Injury

by the WoundSource Editors

Wound healing is a complex process that is highly dependent on many skin cell types interacting in a defined order. With chronic wounds, this process is disrupted, and healing does not normally progress. Although there are different types of chronic wounds, those occurring from injury, such as skin tears or pressure injuries, are some of the most common. These injuries are a result of repeated mechanical irritation. Moisture-associated skin damage is another condition that can contribute to chronicity. Understanding the causes and contributors to these injuries can help to minimize patients’ risk of developing them. It can also aid in the formation of an optimal treatment plan for when injuries do occur, which reduces the healing time and leads to better patient outcomes.

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.

Holly Hovan's picture
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.

Holly Hovan's picture
Geriatric Skin

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

With a growing population of Americans aged 65 or older, it is important to know what skin changes are normal and abnormal and what we can do in terms of treatment, education, and prevention of skin injuries.

Susan Cleveland's picture
Preventing MASD by Moving

by Susan Cleveland, BSN, RN, WCC, CDP, NADONA Board Secretary

Part 1 in a two-part series looking at the basics of preventing and managing moisture-associated skin damage in the long-term care setting.

Hy-Tape International's picture
elderly patient skin tear prevention

By Hy-Tape International

Skin tears are a major and growing problem for health care professionals, particularly those caring for older patients. By 2060, the population of Americans age 65 or older is projected to grow from approximately 46 million to 98 million and account for 24% of the total population.1 This makes skin tears an issue of increasing concern, and it is important for those caring for older adults to take steps to prevent the problem.

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