Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Rashes, Infection, Shearing, Skin cancers, Skin tears, Stasis or venous ulcers



Rashes: Rashes are any reddened, spotty, or bumpy area on the skin surface.

Infection: Infection can take hold if there is an opening in the skin such as a scratch or open sore that provides bacteria an entry point.

Shearing: Shearing is friction pressure put on dragging body parts when you are sliding a client up in bed. Skin sliding against a sheet can cause a burn that can quickly turn into an open wound. This is preventable by properly using a draw sheet, or obtaining help to lift the client into position without dragging.

Skin cancers: Skin cancers or lesions are becoming more common as our population ages. A physician should assess any mole, freckle, or scaly discoloration that has irregular edges.

Skin tears: Skin tears occur when the client rubs against something that would normally make a scratch. The client's skin is usually thin and fragile, so is prone to tearing. Skin tears are usually superficial, but can become infected. Treatment depends on the severity of the tear, and where the injury occurred on the client. Usually steri-strips or a bio-occlusive dressing is used to close the wound and keep bacteria out.

Stasis or venous ulcers: Stasis or venous ulcers are caused by poor circulation. In other words, there is very little blood supply to that area. These are not pressure sores, although they may look similar. This chronic condition produces ulcers that are very difficult to heal, and many times cause the loss of an extremity.