Skin Tear

skin tear

What is a Skin Tear?

  • An acute traumatic wound resulting from external friction and/or shearing forces that separate the epidermis from the dermis
  • Usually present on hands and upper extremities

What are the Risk Factors Involved?

  • Occurs in individuals with fragile skin
  • Older adults at high risk
  • Previous skin tears
  • Ecchymoses
  • Compromised nutrition
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Multiple medications
  • Impaired mobility
  • Dry skin/Dehydration
  • Presence of pressure or shear
  • Impaired sensory perception
  • Disease processes such as congestive heart failure, renal failure, and stroke (CVA)
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids

Clinical Pearls:

  • LIFT do not drag patients
  • Avoid tape or adhesives
  • Exercise caution during bathing, dressing, and transferring
  • Pad bed rails, wheelchair arm and leg supports
  • Maximize nutrition and hydration

LHSCHealth Professionals


Please Note

The content and images on the Wound Care Site are intended for Health Professionals and may be disturbing to some.
Last Updated July 20, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada