What does skin breakdown mean?

What does skin breakdown mean?

A pressure sore (also called pressure ulcer, decubitus ulcer, decubiti (plural), bedsore or skin breakdown) is an area of the skin or underlying tissue (muscle, bone) that is damaged due to loss of blood flow to the area. Blood flow to the skin keeps it alive and healthy. If the skin does not get blood, it will die.

What are the signs of skin breakdown?

Signs of skin problems include:

  • reddened or darkened areas.
  • swelling.
  • any change in the color of the skin.
  • raised or hardened areas.
  • bruises.
  • warm areas felt near a red, dark, raised or hardened area.
  • blisters.
  • rashes.

What is skin breakdown caused by?

Friction, shear, moisture, pressure, and trauma are all causes of skin breakdown. These factors can work together or alone to damage and injure skin. Immobility, poor nutrition, incontinence, medications, hydration, impaired mental status, and loss of sensation are other culprits in skin breakdown.

What is a complication of skin breakdown?

Complications. Complications of pressure ulcers, some life-threatening, include: Cellulitis. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and connected soft tissues. It can cause warmth, redness and swelling of the affected area.

How do hospitals prevent skin breakdown?

Skin care in hospital

  1. Keep your skin clean and dry.
  2. Avoid any products that dry out your skin.
  3. Use a water-based moisturiser daily.
  4. Check your skin every day or ask for help if you are concerned.
  5. If you are at risk of pressure sores, a nurse will change your position often, including during the night.

How do nurses prevent skin breakdown?


  1. Keep the skin clean and dry.
  2. Investigate and manage incontinence (Consider alternatives if incontinence is excessive for age)
  3. Do not vigorously rub or massage the patients’ skin.
  4. Use a pH appropriate skin cleanser and dry thoroughly to protect the skin from excess moisture.

How do you treat skin breakdown from incontinence?

Following an episode of incontinence, the area should be cleaned using a foam cleanser (or similar). The skin should then be carefully dried and either a moisturiser or skin barrier applied depending on the condition of the skin and amount/frequency of incontinence.

How can the elderly prevent skin breakdown?

Here are some ways to ward off skin breakdown:

  1. Assess the patient’s skin regularly—from head to toe.
  2. Check the patient’s feet daily, even if the patient doesn’t have diabetes.
  3. Turn and reposition the patient as needed.
  4. Keep skin dry.
  5. Evaluate the patient’s nutritional status.

What damage can incontinence do to the skin?

When both urine and faeces come into contact with the skin they change the natural pH (making it alka- line), which causes the skin to become reddened and to breakdown. This skin irritation is known as mac- eration, incontinence associated dermatitis (IAD) or excoriation, which can be very painful for individuals.

Can urine irritate your skin?

The kidney makes urine by mixing unwanted chemicals with water. When the urine is concentrated and exposed to the skin for a long time, these chemicals can be irritating. Skin rashes develop more often in children who wear absorbent underpants that contain the urine.

When does skin breakdown occur what causes it?

This skin assessment and diagnosis of skin breakdown helped save Doris from more serious issues. Skin breakdown results from a lack of blood circulation. It can occur when soft tissue parts are pressed between two surfaces, most commonly bone and whatever surface the patient is resting on, such as a bed, chair or pillow.

What’s the best way to prevent skin breakdown?

Prevention is key to avoiding pressure ulcers. This is done through pressure relief. In order to relieve pressure, a person should change positions at least every two hours. Durable medical equipment such as an air mattress or a pressure relieving cushion are also effective in the prevention of skin breakdown.

What causes the breakdown of soft tissue in the skin?

Skin breakdown results from a lack of blood circulation. It can occur when soft tissue parts are pressed between two surfaces, most commonly bone and whatever surface the patient is resting on, such as a bed, chair or pillow.

How is skin breakdown categorized in a wound?

Skin breakdown is categorized in stages when it is diagnosed, which helps medical staff understand the severity of the wound and guides wound treatment. Each stage is progressively more serious and difficult to treat.

What are the risks of skin breakdown?

You are at greatest risk for skin breakdown if you move very little or you are in bed or in a chair for a long time, especially if you also have been losing weight. You are prone to have skin breakdown wherever the weight of your body presses into the bed or chair.

How do you treat skin breakdown?

A regular daily therapy program will contribute to your overall health and well being, as well as reduce the risk of skin breakdown. A good program should include therapy to increase muscle mass and strength, improve your flexibility, improve your cardiovascular endurance, and increase your circulation.

What is pressure ulcer Stage 4?

Stage Four. Stage four pressure ulcers occur when the hypodermis and underlying fascia are breached, exposing muscle and bone. This is the most severe type of pressure ulcer and the most difficult to treat. Damage to deeper tissues, tendons, nerves, and joints may occur, usually with copious amounts of pus and drainage.

What are the stages of pressure ulcer?

Stages of Pressure Ulcers Stage 1: Non-blanchable ulcer Stage 2: Partial thickness Stage 3: The subcutaneous layer Stage 4: Full-thickness tissue loss Stage 5: Eschar