Watch for Breaks in Skin



My current project is gathering information to write a book on skincare and wound management. Therefore, wound and skincare are on my mind.

One of the most important practices I have is to check my husband’s skin regularly for any signs of skin breakdown. If I see the first hint of any break in the surface, I attack it immediately with repair cream to prevent further damage. I make sure that he stays off that side of his body for a while, allowing for better circulation to that area.

When I was doing home health nursing, I saw patients with pressure ulcers covering the entire buttock area. The wounds took years to heal, and the patients were in misery. The cause was often a failure to turn the patient frequently or keeping them clean after bladder or bowel accidents. Wounds would develop and progress with no one paying attention to how bad they were getting because of the location until suddenly, a crater had developed under the skin.

Caregivers, check all skin areas regularly for signs of redness, firmness, hardness or areas that won’t lighten when you push on them (called blanching). If that occurs, it’s a sign that underneath the skin, the wound may be developing. Consult with your doctor if that’s happening.

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