Skin Tears Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers -  - Wound Care Specialist

Tower Wound Care Centers

Wound Care Specialists located in Cedars Sinai Medical Towers, Los Angeles, CA & Encino, CA

Tower Wound Care Center treats patients with skin tears from their three convenient locations in Santa Monica, Encino and Los Angeles, CA. Ensuring they receive the best care available for these wounds.

Skin Tears Q & A

What are skin tears?

Skin tears are injuries which can cause partial or full separation of the outer layers of a person’s skin. They can occur because of shearing and friction forces or a blunt trauma. A partial thickness wound occurs when the epidermis is separated from the dermis and a full thickness wound occurs when both the epidermis and the dermis separate from the underlying structures. While skin tears can sometimes be considered a minor injury, they can lead to complications including infection or a compromised vascular(vein) status. This, in turn, can increase morbidity and/or mortality risks.

Where do skin tears occur?

Skin tears can develop anywhere. In the elderly they frequently develop on the extremities including the upper and lower limbs and on the back of the hands. Skin tears in infants tend to be the result of using adhesives or trauma and frequently develop on the head, face, and limbs.

Which patients are at risk?

The elderly or those dependent on others often have a greater likelihood of developing a skin tear. With age, skin often becomes very fragile and even a bump or trip can cause extensive tissue damage. Additionally, patients who are young or who are very sick are also at a greater risk. If a person has multiple risk factors combined, he or she is much more likely to develop skin tears.

What are the risk factors for skin tears?

Falls, blunt trauma, and handling and equipment injuries are all tied to skin tears. Risk factors can include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Previous skin tears
  • Dry, fragile skin
  • Medications which thin skin including steroids
  • Ecchymosis, or bruising/discoloration of the skin caused by leakage of blood into the subcutaneous tissue because of trauma to the underlying blood vessels
  • Diminished mobility or vision
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration
  • Cognitive or sensory impairment
  • Comorbidities which affect vascularity and skin status, such as chronic heart disease, renal failure, and a cerebral vascular accident
  • Dependence on others for showering, dressing, or transferring in and out of bed or resting positions
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