Skin tear meaning
Among the different types of injuries one may face are skin tear wounds. Unlike those in which there is a clean cut, these are more difficult to treat. They also take longer to heal and have a higher risk of infection. We explain why below.
Skin tear wounds are mainly caused by injuries, although they can also occur on their own because the dermis is weakened. This usually happens when you suffer from certain diseases, follow certain treatments or have advanced age. In any of these cases the thinner layers of the skin open or break.
In those cases where tears occur without injury, due to a deficiency of skin hydration, some preventive measures can be taken. These will keep the skin more flexible and stronger, so that it will be more difficult to tear.
When skin tear wounds are common, do not heal properly, hurt or feel feverish, you should see a dermatologist. He/she will give you some specific recommendations, such as the use of dressings to protect the area until it heals.
Tearing or pulling wounds
With aging comes a series of skin manifestations and complications grouped together in the so-called cutaneous fragility syndrome1 or dermatoporosis, a concept first described in 2007 by Kaya and Suarat as a skin analog of osteoporosis2.
The amount and strength of collagen and elastin decrease with age, leading to wrinkling, thinning and dryness of the skin and making the skin more susceptible to injury. In addition, the elderly often present pathologies related to disorders of balance, consciousness, cognitive abilities and loss of visual acuity3. Some authors consider that the incidence of these injuries is higher in the lower extremities in ambulatory patients4.
Although in the scientific literature we find them under different terminologies (pretibial lacerations, skin tears and/or avulsions), they do not all have the same morphology or the same therapeutic approach, but they could be grouped under the term “lacerations “3.
Tearing Injury First Aid
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn all you can about your condition and how to treat it. Discuss your treatment options with your doctors to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. This information is for educational use only. It is not intended to give you medical advice about disease or treatment. Consult with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to find out if it is safe and effective for you.
How to treat a scrape wound
Once the bleeding has been controlled, wash your hands and then gently wash the wound with soap and water. Do not scrub the wound, simply letting the water run over the wound is enough to remove dirt and debris. Also, you do not have to use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound; science has not found substantial evidence that these products clean wounds better than water.
If your wound exceeds ¼ inch in depth, or if you can see bone, tendons or deep tissue, a medical professional will need to close your wound. Also, if the edges of the wound do not come together easily, or if you have an open wound, your wound will require stitches to heal properly.
The location of the injury will also help you determine if you will need stitches. For example, if you have a wound in a joint (e.g., elbows, knees, etc.), you will likely need stitches to ensure that the wound stays closed long enough to heal.