Treating Skin Tears
What is a Skin Tear?
A skin tear occurs when the folds of skin split or peel back, resulting in a wound. They can be caused by hitting something, changing your garments, or severely scrubbing or drying your skin. Skin tears are most common in babies, the elderly, and chronically unwell individuals. The usage of steroids for an extended period can also raise the risk.
Prevention of Skin Tears
Finding people who are at high risk for skin tears is the first step in preventing them. Those who have already experienced skin tears, persistently dry skin, those who have little or no subcutaneous fat, and those who are also at risk for falls are all at high risk.
The patient should consider the following prevention strategies:
- Skin evaluation upon admission and regularly throughout the patient’s stay
- Diet optimization
- raising skin moisture content with the use of emollients/moisturizers regularly
- Skin protection (e.g., shin guards, padded sleeves)
- Instruction for caregivers, including family members, on safe patient handling procedures
- Environmental protection for the patient (i.e., padding edges of furniture, proper lighting, removing rugs or other tripping hazards, use of appropriate aids to move patients)
Treatment of Skin Tears
Skin tears still happen despite our best efforts at prevention. If your patient develops a skin tear,
the following steps should be taken:
- Apply gentle pressure to the wound until it stops bleeding
- Use an authorized classification system to classify the skin tear (i.e., Star, Payne & Martin, ISTAP)
- Cleanse the wound with water or saline solution
- Gently line up the borders of the flap with the surrounding tissue with a wet q-tip or your gloved finger to correct the wound edges.
- Apply a suitable dressing (for example, a colloid or silicone-based mesh and foam dressing, calcium alginate, and securement materials that allow for extended dressing wear and gentle removal. Do not use sticky strips if the wound is bleeding.)
Professional nurses at Safe Hands HHC are qualified and skilled enough to provide the best treatment for Skin tears. Safe Hands HHC, having wound care as its specialized area, offers appropriate wound care solutions to those in need.