Wound healing necessitates important attention to the care of the skin around the wound site as well as the preparation of the wound bed itself. Skin breakdown and infection have to be prevented while maintaining an optimal moist wound healing environment. Patients with certain co-morbidities and diseases have skin that is more susceptible to skin breakdown and injury. The breakdown of periwound skin is just one of the factors that delay wound healing and increase pain. Prevent wound deterioration by identifying conditions and risk factors early on in your wound examination.
Periwound and surrounding skin, reaching 4cm from the wound bed, should be evaluated as part of the wound examination. A thorough wound evaluation includes assessing the wound’s location, shape, color, edges, margins, periwound, and surrounding skin. Completing an assessment of the periwound is quite similar to performing an assessment of a wound.
- Periwound temperature
- Exudate amount
- Wound Location
- Periwound shape
- Periwound color
- Wound depth
Preventing Periwound Skin Breakdown
Periwound breakdown and/or complications can occur with any wound type. In order to ensure that the wound healing process is advancing toward the objective of wound closure, proper prevention, treatment, and management of the periwound are necessary. Abnormal wound complications should be identified and treated when necessary. Preventive measures can be supplemented by a variety of products, as can the wound’s periwound and surrounding skin management.
- Utilize larger absorbent type dressings, such as foam to optimize absorption in moderate to heavily draining wounds.
- Periwound skin can be injured if adhesive dressings are frequently reapplied or removed. Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury (MARSI), is an injury to the skin produced by medical adhesives.
- Protect the periwound and surrounding skin, using skin sealant spray, liquid, and or a barrier ointment.
- Removing adhesive type dressings to avoid injury. This can be done most effectively by pressing down on the skin near the edge of the dressing while lifting up the adhesive.
- Utilize appropriate dressings to maintain a balance of the wound microenvironment.
Enhancing patient quality of life, which has already been compromised by wounds, can be achieved through the prevention of complications such as periwound skin breakdown and damage. Patients with open wounds are vulnerable to skin deterioration, and clinicians must keep this in mind when treating them.
Important Notice: The views and opinions stated in this blog are exclusively those of the author and do not reflect iWound Global, iWound Care USA, Inc., its affiliates, or partner companies. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.