Management of Skin Tears in the Elderly

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Narueparn Koonsub
Marisa Komutklang
Supattra Loyprakhon
Sirilak Jannuan
Watinee Theangtumdee
Phonsiree Kaiyasaeng
Rungnapha Limprasert
Kukwan Maleewong


Skin Tears are a significant and common issue in the elderly population, causing pain and distress that affects their quality of life. Skin injuries can increase the likelihood of hospitalization and vary in occurrence rates worldwide. This study aims to gather information on the management of skin tears in the elderly, focusing on four aspects: 1) Causes and types of skin tears, which result from shearing forces, impact, and friction, leading to separation of skin layers categorized into three types: 1.1) No loss of the upper skin layer (epidermis), 1.2) Partial loss of the skin layer at the site of the tear, and 1.3) Total loss of the upper skin layer. 2) Risk factors contributing to skin tear occurrence, including sensory and visual impairments, mental health issues, malnutrition, excessive medication intake, limited mobility or immobility, falls history, use of adhesive dressings, diseases, or physical ailments. 3) Prevention of skin tears by ensuring a safe home environment, assessing confusion, managing nutritional intake and hydration, consulting with physicians and pharmacists regarding medication regimens that may impact the skin, avoiding movements that can cause skin tears, and caring for and nourishing the skin to enhance its resilience, including the selection of suitable skincare products for the elderly. 4) Management of skin tears in the elderly, emphasizing the selection of appropriate wound dressings based on exudate volume, cost-effectiveness, and considering silicone-based materials to prevent skin tears, following the guidelines provided by the International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (ISTAP).

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Koonsub, N., Komutklang, M., Loyprakhon, S., Jannuan, S., Theangtumdee, W., Kaiyasaeng, P., Limprasert , R., & Maleewong , K. (2023). Management of Skin Tears in the Elderly. Vajira Nursing Journal, 25(1), 104–111. Retrieved from
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