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About

SKIN TEARS

A skin tear usually occurs in the elderly or those with fragile skin, as a result of a knock or vigorous washing and drying of the skin.

The epidermis (outer layer of the skin) is separated from the dermis (inner layer of the skin), or both the dermis and the epidermis are separated from the underlying tissue.
Tears can be simple such as a linear laceration, or be more complex, with include tissue loss haematoma and bruising. Skin tears mainly occur on the arms and legs, but can occur on any area that is knocked or scraped. Skin tears found on the front of the leg on the shin bone are called ‘pre-tibial lacerations’.

If you are elderly, you are more at risk of getting a skin tear as older skin has less collagen and elastin, which shows as sagging and wrinkling. This makes the skin less able to withstand normal wear and tear, so a simple knock will cause the skin to rip. Steroids can also cause the skin to thin, making it more at risk of tearing.

Treatment

There are different categories of skin tears depending on the symptoms of the skin flap. Treatment will vary; the skin flap will be removed if the edges are fragile and there is a poor blood supply, or it may be left in place. Your health professional will choose the best treatment for you.

What can you do?

PREVENTION OF SKIN TEARS

If you are elderly or have fragile skin, it is important to try and prevent a skin tear occurring.

You can:

  • Try special equipment to help you turn or move if you are bed or chair-bound
  • Try not to knock yourself on furniture
  • Pat skin dry rather then rubbing
  • Keep your finger and toe nails short
  • Keep your skin moist using an emollient
  • Wear comfortable, supporting shoes (this may prevent you tripping or falling) 
  • Wear clothing that covers you as much as possible. Where possible, make them as easy as possible to get on and off by using Velcro instead of zips or buttons


Dressing

If you have a skin tear, make sure that the dressing you use does not tear or pull the skin when it is removed. These are called ‘atraumatic’ dressings. If it does get stuck, moisten it before removing.  Watch the wound for signs of infection which include:

  • An increase or a change in pain
  • Increased redness
  • Swelling
  • An increase in the amount and colour of exudate (fluid) from the wound
  • Odour from the wound
  • A high temperature
     

A number of suitable dressings can be found if you click on the ‘our solutions’ tab.

It hurts

MINIMISING PAIN

Skin tears can be painful, so it is important to use a dressing that protects the wound.

Dressing changes

Some dressings can take off the ‘top’ of the wound (the ‘wound bed’) and the skin around the wound, so use a dressing that protects the wound and the surrounding skin.

Help

Mölnlycke Health Care dressings have a special, gentle adhesive which means that they cause little or no pain when they are taken off. This is called Safetac® technology. Click here to learn more about Safetac technology. Your doctor or nurse will know which of the dressings are best to use for your wound.

If you want to learn more about pain and how you can minimise it, please visit our Pain centre by clicking the button.

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO GET MORE INFO ABOUT THE PRODUCTS

Mepitel

Mepitel®

  • Use on clean wounds
  • Use to keep the skin tear in place 
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster
  • Protects the wound 
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Is placed between the wound and an absorbent dressing
  • Can be left on for up to 2 weeks (more info on the product page)

Mepitel®One

  • Use on clean wounds
  • Use to keep the skin tear in place  
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster
  • Protects the wound
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Thin, conformable and transparent
  • Is placed between the wound and an absorbent dressing
  • Can be left on for up to 2 weeks (more info on the product page)
Mepitel

Mepitel®

  • Use on clean wounds 
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster
  • Protects the wound 
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Is placed between the wound and an absorbent dressing
  • Can be left on for up to 2 weeks (more info on the product page)

Mepilex®Border

  • Use on wounds with moderate to high exudate (wound fluid)
  • Is soft and comfortable
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster 
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Is shower-proof
  • Does not harm the surrounding skin
Mepilex Border Lite

Mepilex®Border Lite

  • Use on wounds with less wound exudate (wound fluid)
  • Is thin and comfortable
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Is shower-proof
  • Does not harm the surrounding skin

Mepitac®

  • Gentle fixation tape for sensitive/fragile skin
  • Minimises pain and skin damage at removal due to a Safetac layer close to
    the skin
  • Is soft and comfortable
  • Water proof
  • Low risk of skin irritation and allergy
Mepilex Lite

Mepilex®Lite

  • Use on wounds with less wound exudate (wound fluid)
  • Is very thin, soft and comfortable
  • Has a Safetac layer making it less painful to remove
  • Keeps the wound moist which makes it heal faster  
  • Does not harm the surrounding skin

Tubifast™ with 2-Way Stretch Technology

  • Use to keep your dressing in place if adhesives are not wanted
  • Is easy to put in place
  • Available in many widths
Contact

CONTACT US

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