Provider Prepared's Weekly Pearl of Wound Wisdom #21 Torn and Tearing

Provider Prepared's Weekly Pearl of Wound Wisdom #21 Torn and Tearing
A 93-year-old female presents to the emergency department for evaluation of wounds to her right forearm. She was working in her yard when she lost her balance and began to fall. As she put her arms out to catch herself, her right forearm scraped against nearby garden tools. She has several areas of torn skin upon the forearm. She otherwise did not receive other injuries.

As we age our skin becomes atrophic, has a decrease in elasticity, and develops impaired metabolic and reparative responses. The epidermis becomes thinner and there is flattening of the dermoepidermal junction. This results in a decrease in the skin’s ability to resist shear stress, increasing the fragility of the skin.
Taffet, GE et al. Normal aging, UpToDate January 2017.

Skin tears are appropriately managed with application of Steri-Strips to reapproximate the loosened epidermal and dermal tissues. After appropriate irrigation of the wounds, using Mastisol in conjunction with Steri-Strips the tissue can be secured into appropriate anatomical position. A loose nonadherent dressing should then be placed over the top of the Steri-Strip. Adherent dressings placed upon aged and torn skin will lead to additional skin tears, and therefore should be avoided.

All Provider Prepared Laceration Repair Kits are stocked with Steri-Strips and Stik-It (Mastisol equivalent) enabling you to appropriately and affordably manage skin tear wounds. Click HERE to order yours today!

Provider Prepared
Nathan Whittaker, MD

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  • Brandon Durfee
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