How to Treat Skin Tears

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At hospice‌ ‌care‌ in ‌Burbank‌ ‌Ca‌, the comfort and care preferences of patients are our top priority. From beginning to end of a patient’s hospice‌ ‌care‌ ‌in our Los‌ ‌Angeles ‌and Burbank facility, bodily wounds can happen as terminal illness advances. If wounds are left untreated or are not properly cared for, they harm the patients physically and psychosocially. Also, this can wreck the patient’s quality of life.


Carers and nurses providing hospice ‌in‌ ‌Burbank‌ ‌Ca tell us that the skin gets thinner and more fragile when we get older. Anything from bumps, cuts, and scratches happen more frequently and takes longer to heal. In the elderly, skin tears are very common. Also, seniors could be dealing with diabetes, poor circulation, or a deficient immune system, which makes healing a challenge. Everyone giving hospice‌ ‌care‌ ‌in Burbank‌ ‌ca‌ believe that it is essential to understand how to treat skin tears to prevent infection and other serious complications.

Wound Assessment 

Typically wounds develop during a severe or terminal illness, because of an underlying disease or due to the constraints of the disease, which make it burdensome to avoid sores and abrasions. Friction wounds, pressure sores, and skin tears are common among patients, particularly those who have limited mobility. 

You could see anything from diabetic ulcers, malignant tumors on the skin’s surface, and even vascular wounds that can happen in patients with specific conditions. 

Additionally, surgical wounds after a planned or emergency operation require specialized care. Various types of wounds need different types of care, so a patient’s medical team must assess the wound before deciding on suitable care. 

Opposed to traditional care, the goal of hospice wound care isn’t, by definition, to heal the wound. Alternatively, the aim is to manage the symptoms of the wound and make the patient more comfortable. Chronic wounds that are caused by cancer or ulcers may not be treatable. In some instances, complete wound recovery may involve treatments that the patient’s body can’t presently handle, like surgery. The team giving hospice‌ ‌care‌ in ‌Burbank‌ ‌Ca‌ can provide a regular assessment to keep a record of how specific wound care interventions are working. 

Treating Infections

It isn’t difficult for a wound to get infected, and patients with a severe or terminal illness are usually more susceptible to them. While the immune system is fighting to create a defense against the infection, more harm could happen. To go up against infections, a hospice doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Mostly systemic antibiotics, which are taken orally, are usually used to treat widespread infections and help ward off an infection’s spread.

Hospice care patients with a contained infection in one spot may be prescribed a topical antibiotic, such as a gel or cream substance. In some instances, topical medications for wound treatment are put straight on a soft bandage and set on the wound to keep the area covered and protected from any more vulnerability to possible infectious bacteria. 

In some cases, doctors and nurses carry out debridement, which is a procedure that involves removing dead or dying tissue at the wound area to reveal healthier tissue underneath. After doing a debridement procedure, the exposed skin absorbs topical antibiotics and other medications effortlessly. 

If you are taking care of a loved one at home, and they have experienced a skin tear, you can treat a skin tear and prevent infection in the following ways:

  1. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water before treating a skin tear. Whenever you can, wear gloves when treating your loved one’s wound.
  2. If you notice the skin tear is bleeding, apply pressure and try to keep it elevated.
  3. Carefully rinse the skin tear with water or a saline solution, being very gentle to not cause more tearing.
  4. Let the skin tear air dry, or pat it dry very carefully. It is crucial to not rub the wound.
  5. If there is still a flap of skin, delicately place it back in position. Do not stretch the skin or force it into position.
  6. Finally, cover the skin tear with petrolatum gauze, which you can find at most pharmacies. Do not use an adhesive bandage since this could cause additional damage.

Keep the wound clean and covered until it has healed.

Pain Management

On the whole, wounds cause pain, and managing this pain is important during hospice care. A patient in hospice care may already be on medication to deal with symptoms of their illness but might require more treatment for pain throughout medical procedures or dressing removal. 

When a hospice care nurse does the dressing removal, they might wet the area with warm saline to help loosen the adhesive and avoid pain. Medical professionals may also apply topical analgesics to temporarily numb the area that is receiving treatment. Many contemporary wound dressings are produced to lessen trauma during removal, so these can be used to reduce discomfort. 

Wound Odors And Secretions

Some hospice care patients have wounds that secrete fluids or produce odors. Secretions from wounds can cause ongoing damage since these fluids usually have enzymes that break down skin cells. Also, bacteria can build up in wound fluids, which can result from an increased risk of infection and further breakdown of the skin around the edges of the wound. 

To reduce the smell, there is a treatment of seeping or foul-smelling wounds. Typically, odor-reducing solutions are placed into the dressing on top of the wound get rid of unpleasant smells. Normally, these absorbent dressings have a non-sticky layer that stays directly against the wound to decrease damage when the dressing is removed. It depends on how much seepage is occurring; dressing changes may be needed daily or every few days.