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Skin Care Update
(For Home Health Aides and Home Attendants)
Broadcast Date: October 18, 2006
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The body's first line of defense against invading organisms is the intact skin (the largest organ in the body), which also serves to maintain homeostasis. Patients in all healthcare settings have a common need to maintain intact healthy, moisturized skin, though many bathing routines and techniques can jeopardize the barrier function of the skin. Alteration in the skin integrity is a practice issue across the continuum of care, particularly as patients age.
The older you get, the more important it is to take care of your skin as the skin becomes thinner, begins to sag, causes wrinkles and injures more easily and heals more slowly. The skin also loses its ability to moisturize itself. Proper skin care is important for both our physical and mental health. For instance, skin infection in a diabetic patient can lead to the serious complication of gangrene. Those who are bedridden need to avoid prolonged pressure on the ankles, heels and buttock. Too much pressure can tear the thin skin leading to bedsores. And itchiness, a very common problem among the elderly, can be so irritating as to affect how we feel. Therefore, the elderly and caregivers should know about proper skin care.
Barbara Baker, RN, BSN, CSW
ConveTec/Bristl Squibb Company
Home Health Aides and Home Attendants
None for this program.
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