2013-Oct-3 - prevention of infection and pressure
Incontinence often causes dermatitis, and this can lead to ulcer prone skin. The following are some suggestions for promoting healing and prevention of infection and pressure sores.
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1. Follow a skin care protocol. The skin is an important part of your health. In order to keep the skin healthy, it is important to develop a regimen or protocol that both treats and protects the skin. This is best achieved by cleaning, moisturizing, and protecting the skin. Those who are elderly, and those who are incontinent often need products to help protect the skin. While a younger, healthier person's skin is capable of maintaining health without too many additional moisturizers and protectants, the elderly and incontinent may need specialized products. A good skin care protocol will involve daily assessment of skin health, and the use of needed products based on the findings.
2. Cleanse the skin with a no rinse, pH balanced cleanser, which is easier on the skin than soap and water. When skin is exposed to urine and feces bacteria grows quickly, the pH increases, and the skin will rapidly breakdown and be damaged. Thus, it is important to clean the skin. However, soap and water is too harsh, and can lead to further skin damage. Instead seek a pH balanced cleanser. Frictional damage caused by rubbing and wiping can also hurt the skin, so look for a no-rinse option.
3. Moisturize the skin, this will help it to clear up the reddened areas, and provide a healthier environment for healing and prevention. Reddening skin is the first sign of a pressure sore. Skin that is pliant and healthy is less prone to developing ulcers and sores. Because the skin is older, it does not produce as much natural moisturizers, and thus a little product can go a long way.
4. Protect the ulcer-prone skin from over exposure to moisture by using a skin protectant or multi-purpose ointment. The body's natural protectant is sebum, a lipid based substance. However, as skin ages, sebum production decreases, thus a daily treatment or ointment can be very helpful.
A residential facility must show that residents who entered without pressure sores, and developed them, had a clinical condition that make them unavoidable, and that necessary treatment and steps were taken to promote healing and prevent infection, as well as the development of new sores. The above mentioned steps are great for prevention, but will also promote healing by providing a more conducive environment for healthy skin.
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