Microclimate

Definition: The local tissue temperature and moisture
at the body/support surface interface.

Fast facts:

  • Moisture is known to impact on ability of the skin to function
  • Reduce stiffness – Softens skin, maceration
  • Reduce strength – Up 96%, lead to erosion
  • Increase co-efficient of friction
  • Increase adhesion to contact surface – Increase risk of shear
  • Promote abrasion, slough and ulceration
  • Dilute skin acidity – pH shift to alkalinity
  • Elevated temperature increases metabolic rate
  • Elevated temperature leads to increased sweating
  • At interface point with support surface, body heat becomes trapped causing the skin to rapidly warm – Heat accumulates and moisture builds up
  • Animal studies have demonstrated a link between heat build up and ulcer formation2