They are acute wounds that are caused by mechanical trauma. This includes blunt force, a fall, damage from equipment or the removal of a strong adhesive dressing. They typically occur on the extremities of the body such as the hands, arms, and lower limbs, as the skin on these areas is not only thinner, but also more prone to external injury.
Skin tears can have a detrimental impact on the quality of an elderly person’s life as they can cause unnecessary pain, discomfort, and distress.
Despite being common in older people, they are often misidentified and underreported, which means that they are frequently mismanaged. Without proper management, the risk of physical distress and infection increases significantly, whilst the effectiveness of treatment is limited.