You Are Here

Understanding radiation dermatitis

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in the United States in 2015. During the course of their disease, most cancer patients receive radiation therapy.

Delivering high energy in the form of waves or particles, radiation therapy alters the DNA of cancer cells, causing their death. Radiation can be administered either externally or internally (through materials placed into the body). It’s given in fraction doses, with the total recommended dose divided into daily amounts. Treatment, including the total dose, is determined on an individual basis.

Although improvements have been made in delivery of radiation therapy, approximately 95% of patients who receive it experience a skin reaction. What’s more, radiation therapy commonly is given concurrently with chemotherapy or targeted therapy to improve survival, which increases the toxicity risk. (more…)

Read More

How to manage incontinence-associated dermatitis

By Nancy Chatham, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN, CWS, and Carrie Carls, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CHRN

Moisture-related skin breakdown has been called many things-perineal dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, contact dermatitis, heat rash, and anything else caregivers could think of to describe the damage occurring when moisture from urine or stool is left on the skin. At a 2005 consensus conference, attendees chose the term incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD).

IAD can be painful, hard to properly identify, complicated to treat, and costly. It’s part of a larger group of moisture-associated skin damage that also includes intertrigo and periwound maceration. IAD prevalence and incidence vary widely with the care setting and study design. Appropriate diagnosis, prompt treatment, and management of the irritant source are crucial to long-term treatment.

Causes

IAD stems from the effects of urine, stool, and containment devices on the skin. The skin’s pH contributes to its barrier functions and defenses against bacteria and fungus; ideal pH is 5.0 to 5.9. Urine pH ranges from 4.5 to 8.0; the higher range is alkaline and contributes to skin damage.

Skin moisture isn’t necessarily damaging. But when moisture that contains irritating substances, such as alkaline urine, contacts the skin for a prolonged period, damage can occur. Urine on the skin alters the normal skin flora and increases permeability of the stratum corneum, weakening the skin and making it more susceptible to friction and erosion. Fecal incontinence leads to active fecal enzymes on the skin, which contribute to skin damage. Fecal bacteria can penetrate the skin, increasing the risk of secondary infection. Wet skin has a lower temperature than dry skin; wet skin under a pressure load has less blood flow than dry skin.

Containment devices, otherwise known as adult diapers or briefs, are multilayer disposable garments containing a superabsorbent polymer. The polymer is designed to wick and trap moisture in the containment device. This ultimately affects the skin by trapping heat and moisture, which may cause redness and inflammation that can progress to skin erosion. This trapping can lead to increased pressure against the skin, especially if the device has absorbed liquid and remains in contact with the skin.

Categorizing IAD

IAD is categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. (See Picturing IAD by clicking the PDF icon above.)

Screening for IAD

Screen the patient’s skin for persistent redness, inflammation, rash, pain, and itching at least daily. To differentiate IAD from pressure ulcers, keep in mind that:

  • IAD can occur wherever urine or stool contacts the skin. In contrast, pressure ulcers arise over bony prominences in the absence of moisture.
  • With IAD, affected skin is red or bright red. With a pressure ulcer, skin may take on a bluish purple, red, yellow, or black discoloration.
  • The skin-damage pattern in IAD usually is diffuse. With a pressure ulcer, edges are well defined.
  • The depth of IAD-related skin damage usually is partial-thickness without necrotic tissue. With a pressure ulcer, skin damage depth may vary.

Preventing IAD

The three essentials of IAD prevention are to cleanse, moisturize, and protect.

  • Cleanse the skin with a mild soap that’s balanced to skin pH and contains surfactants that lift stool and urine from the skin. Clean the skin routinely and at the time of soiling. Use warm (not hot) water, and avoid excess force and friction to avoid further skin damage.
  • Moisturize the skin daily and as needed. Moisturizers may be applied alone or
    incorporated into a cleanser. Typically, they contain an emollient such as lanolin to replace lost lipids in the stratum corneum.
  • To protect the skin, apply a moisture-barrier cream or spray if the patent has significant urinary or fecal incontinence (or both). The barrier may be zinc-based, petrolatum-based, dimethicone-based, an acrylic polymer, or another type. Consider using an algorithm developed by wound and skin care specialists that’s customized for skin care products your facility uses. (See Skin care algorithm by clicking the PDF icon above.)

If the treatment protocol fails, the patient should be referred to an appropriate skin care specialist promptly.

To help prevent urine or stool from contacting the patient’s skin, consider using a male external catheter, a female urinary pouch, a fecal pouch, or a bowel management system. Avoid containment devices. If the patient has a containment pad, make sure it’s highly absorbent and not layered, to decrease pressure under the patient.

Managing IAD

A comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to IAD is essential to the success of any skin care protocol. Identify skin care champions within your facility and educate them on IAD. Incorporating administrators, physicians, nursing staff, therapists, and care assistants makes implementation of protocols and algorithms within an institution seamless.

Administrators support the skin care program in the facility, including authorizing a budget so product purchases can be made. The certified wound clinician is the team expert regarding skin care, incontinence, prevention, and product recommendation. The physician oversees protocol development and evaluates and prescribes additional treatment when a patients fails to respond to treatment algorithms. Nursing staff identify patients at risk, incorporate the algorithm into the patient’s plan of care, and direct care
assistants
. Therapists address function, strength, and endurance issues to improve the patient’s self-care abilities in activities of daily living to manage or prevent episodes of incontinence.

In severe inflammation, topical dressings, such as alginates and foam dressings, may be used along with topical corticosteroids. In complex IAD, antifungals or antibiotics may be required if a secondary fungal or bacterial infection is suspected.

Additional diagnostic tests may be done to identify and treat secondary infections. These tests may include skin scraping, potassium hydroxide test or Gram’s stain for fungal components, or a swab culture and sensitivity for bacterial infections. If your patient has a suspected secondary fungal or bacterial infection, use appropriate treatments for the full course of recommended therapy. In severe secondary fungal infection, an oral agent may be added to topical therapy. If cost is a concern, consider using a pharmacy knowledgeable about compounding for topical combination therapies.

Referrals and education

For assessment and treatment of under-lying incontinence, refer the patient to a continence specialist if appropriate. Teach the patient strategies for managing incontinence through dietary measures, toileting programs, pelvic-floor muscle training, clothing modification, and mobility aids.

Selected references

Beguin A, Malaquin-Pavan E, Guihaire C, et al., Improving diaper design to address incontinence associated dermatitis. BMC Geriatrics. 2010;10:86. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2318/10/86. Accessed March 15, 2012.

Black JM, Gray M, Bliss DZ, et al. MASD part 2: incontinence-associated dermatitis and intertriginous dermatitis. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2011; 38(4):359-370.

Bliss DZ, Zehrer C, Savik K, et al. An economic evaluation of four skin damage prevention regimens in nursing home residents with incontinence: economics of skin damage prevention. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007;34(2):143-152.

Denat Y, Khorshid L. The effect of 2 different care products on incontinence-associated dermatitis in patients with fecal incontinence. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2011;38(2):171-176.

Doughty DB. Urinary and Fecal Incontinence: Current Management Concepts. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier; 2006.

Gray, M. Optimal management of incontinence-associated dermatitis in the elderly. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2010;11(3):201-210.

Gray M, Beeckman D, Bliss DZ, et al. Incontinence-associated dermatitis: a comprehensive review and update. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2012;39(1):61-74

Gray M, Bliss DZ, Doughty DB, et al. Incontinence-associated dermatitis: a consensus. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007;34(1):45-54.

Gray M, Bohacek L, Weir D, et al. Moisture vs pressure: making sense out of perineal wounds. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007;34(2):134-42.

Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Health care protocol: Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment. Bloomington, MN: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. January 2012. http://www.icsi.org/pressure_ulcer_treatment_protocol__review_and_comment_/pressure_ulcer_treatment__protocol__.html. Accessed March 15, 2012.

Junkin J, Lerner-Selekof JL. Prevalence of incontinence and associated skin injury in the acute care inpatient. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007;34(3):260-269.

Landefeld CS, Bowers BJ, Feld AD, et al. National Institutes of Health state-of-the-science conference statement: prevention of fecal and urinary incontinence in adults. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148(6):449-458.

Langemo D, Hanson D, Hunter S, et al. Incontinence and incontinence-associated dermatitis. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2011;24(3):126-142.

Scheinfeld NS. Cutaneous candidiasis workup. 2011 update. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1090632-workup. Accessed March 15, 2012.

U.S. Census Bureau. The older population 2010. November 2011. www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf. Accessed March 15, 2012.

Nancy Chatham is an advanced practice nurse at Passavant Physician Associates in Jacksonville, Illinois. Carrie Carls is the nursing director of advanced wound healing and hyperbaric medicine at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Read More

Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster: Understanding the disease, its treatment, and prevention

Herpes zoster (HZ, also called shingles) is a painful condition that produces a maculopapular and vesicular rash. Usually, the rash appears along a single dermatome (band) around one side of the body or face.

In most cases, pain, tingling, burning, or itching occurs a few days before the rash. Next, blisters form, scabbing over in 7 to 10 days. In rare cases, the rash is widespread, resembling varicella zoster (VZ, or chickenpox) rash. Pain can range from mild to severe and may be dull, burning, or gnawing. It may last weeks, months, or even years after the blisters heal. Shingles on the face may impair vision or hearing. (more…)

Read More

Understanding NPUAP’s updates to pressure ulcer terminology and staging

On April 13, 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announced changes in pressure ulcer terminology and staging definitions. Providers can adapt NPUAP’s changes for their clinical practice and documentation, but it’s important to note that, as of press time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not adopted the changes. This means that providers can’t use NPUAP’s updates when completing CMS assessment forms, such as the Minimum Data Set (MDS) or Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS). Instead, they must code the CMS assessment forms according to current CMS instructions and definitions. In addition, there is no ICD-10 code for pressure injury. (more…)

Read More

How to manage peristomal skin problems

For an ostomy pouching system to adhere properly, the skin around the stoma must be dry and intact. Otherwise, peristomal skin problems and skin breakdown around the stoma may occur. In fact, these problems are the most common complications of surgical stomas. They can worsen the patient’s pain and discomfort, diminish quality of life, delay rehabilitation, increase use of ostomy supplies, and raise healthcare costs.

Peristomal skin problems also perpetuate a vicious cycle in ostomy patients: They impair adhesion of the pouching system, which in turn exacerbates the skin problem. That’s why maintaining peristomal skin integrity and addressing skin problems promptly are so crucial. (more…)

Read More

Clinical Notes: Moldable Skin Barrier, hypoglycemia, diabetic food ulcers

Moldable skin barrier effective for elderly patients with ostomy

A study in Gastroenterology Nursing reports that compared to a conventional skin barrier, a moldable skin barrier significantly improves self-care satisfaction scores in elderly patients who have a stoma. The moldable skin barrier also caused less irritant dermatitis and the costs for leakage-proof cream were lower.

The application of a moldable skin barrier in the self-care of elderly ostomy patients” included 104 patients ages 65 to 79 who had a colostomy because of colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for severe hypoglycemia in older adults with diabetes identified

(more…)

Read More

2016 Journal: May – June Vol. 5 No. 3

Wound Care Advisor Journal 2016 Vol5 No3

How to manage peristomal skin problems

For an ostomy pouching system to adhere properly, the skin around the stoma must be dry and intact. Otherwise, peristomal skin problems and skin breakdown around the stoma may occur. In fact, these problems are the most common complications of surgical stomas. They can worsen the patient’s pain and discomfort, diminish quality of life, delay rehabilitation, increase use of ostomy supplies, and raise healthcare costs.

Peristomal skin problems also perpetuate a vicious cycle in ostomy patients: They impair adhesion of the pouching system, which in turn exacerbates the skin problem. That’s why maintaining peristomal skin integrity and addressing skin problems promptly are so crucial.

Read more

10 tips for a successful professional conference

Attending a professional conference can yield many benefits if you follow these 10 tips. 1 Obtain new knowledge. Conferences provide opportunities for clinicians to gain new knowledge about procedures, technology, and research. Take notes and keep handouts for reference. After you return, share what you have learned with colleagues so multiple people benefit from the conference. Remember to complete the necessary information to obtain professional continuing education (CE) credit. 2 Become certified.…

0 comments

A pressure ulcer by any other name

Just when we think we’ve figured out pressure ulcer staging, it changes again. In April 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) held a consensus conference on staging definitions and terminology. The purpose: to analyze and discuss the rationale for the panel’s changes. One of the key changes is replacing the term “pressure ulcer” with “pressure injury.” So instead of calling it a pressure ulcer staging system, NPUAP will…

3 comments

Case study: Maggots help heal a difficult wound

Using maggots to treat wounds dates back to 1931 in this country. Until the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s, maggots were used routinely. In the 1980s, interest in them revived due to the increasing emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. At Select Specialty Hospital Houston in Texas, we recently decided to try maggot therapy for a patient with a particularly difficult wound. In this case study, we share our experience.

0 comments

Causes, prevention, and treatment of epibole

As full-thickness wounds heal, they begin to fill in from the bottom upward with granulation tissue. At the same time, wound edges contract and pull together, with movement of epithelial tissue toward the center of the wound (contraction). These epithelial cells, arising from either the wound margins or residual dermal epithelial appendages within the wound bed, begin to migrate in leapfrog or train fashion across the wound bed. Horizontal movement stops when…

0 comments

Clinical Notes: Moldable Skin Barrier, hypoglycemia, diabetic food ulcers

Moldable skin barrier effective for elderly patients with ostomy A study in Gastroenterology Nursing reports that compared to a conventional skin barrier, a moldable skin barrier significantly improves self-care satisfaction scores in elderly patients who have a stoma. The moldable skin barrier also caused less irritant dermatitis and the costs for leakage-proof cream were lower. “The application of a moldable skin barrier in the self-care of elderly ostomy patients” included…

0 comments

Clinician Resources: OSHA, Education Program, Civil Workplace

This issue we focus on resources to help clinicians protect themselves from injuries and engage in a healthier lifestyle. OSHA safety website A hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency provides a wealth of information on how to protect hospital workers as part of its website Worker Safety in Hospitals: Caring for Our Caregivers. PDF…

0 comments

How to manage peristomal skin problems

For an ostomy pouching system to adhere properly, the skin around the stoma must be dry and intact. Otherwise, peristomal skin problems and skin breakdown around the stoma may occur. In fact, these problems are the most common complications of surgical stomas. They can worsen the patient’s pain and discomfort, diminish quality of life, delay rehabilitation, increase use of ostomy supplies, and raise healthcare costs. Peristomal skin problems also perpetuate a…

0 comments
hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy as adjunct therapy for wound care

Why would a patient with a wound spend almost 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, in a locked chamber receiving 100% oxygen? The answer is that medical grade hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be a valuable adjunct therapy for selected types of wounds. In this article, I’ll focus on hospitals and clinics that follow guidelines from the Undersea…

0 comments

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers

By Carrie Carls, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CHRN; Michael Molyneaux, MD; and William Ryan, CHT Every year, 1.9% of patients with diabetes develop foot ulcers. Of those, 15% to 20% undergo an amputation within 5 years of ulcer onset. During their lifetimes, an estimated 25% of diabetic patients develop a foot ulcer. This article discusses use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)…

0 comments

Understanding radiation dermatitis

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1.6 million new cases of cancer will have been diagnosed in the United States in 2015. During the course of their disease, most cancer patients receive radiation therapy. Delivering high energy in the form of waves or particles, radiation therapy alters the DNA of cancer cells, causing their death. Radiation can be administered either externally or internally (through materials placed into the body). It’s…

2 comments

Wise use of antibiotics in patients with wound infections

Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health threat not only in the United States, but worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is one of the major threats to human health. Despite these concerns, antibiotics continue to be widely used—and overused. In long-term care, for instance, antibiotics are the most frequently prescribed medications, with as many as 70% of residents receiving one or more courses per year.…

0 comments
2016 Journal: May – June Vol. 5 No. 3
Click here to access the digital edition
Read More

Clinical Notes: ostomy, pressure ulcer, burn treatment

Self-management ostomy program improves HRQOL

A five-session ostomy self-care program with a curriculum based on the Chronic Care Model can improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to a study in Psycho-Oncology.

A chronic care ostomy self-management program for cancer survivors” describes results from a longitudinal pilot study of 38 people. Participants reported sustained improvements in patient activation, self-efficacy, total HRQOL, and physical and social well-being. Most patients had a history of rectal cancer (60.5%) or bladder cancer (28.9%). (more…)

Read More

Buzz Report: Latest trends, part 2

Keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical knowledge is one of the main goals of the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference held each September in Las Vegas. Every year, I present the opening session, called “The Buzz Report,” which focuses on the latest-breaking wound care news—what’s new, what’s now, and what’s coming up. I discuss new products, practice guidelines, resources, and tools from the last 12 months in skin, wound, and ostomy management.

In the January issue, I discussed some of the updates from my 2015 Buzz Report. Now I’d like to share a few more, along with some of my favorite resources. (more…)

Read More

Providing skin care for bariatric patients

Providing skin care for bariatric patients

By Gail R. Hebert, MS, RN CWCN, DWC, WCC, OMS

How would you react if you heard a 600-lb patient was being admitted to your unit? Some healthcare professionals would feel anxious—perhaps because they’ve heard bariatric patients are challenging to care for, or they feel unprepared to provide their care. (more…)

Read More

Clinical Notes

CN_Socks

Mild compression diabetic socks safe and effective for lower extremity edema

Diabetic socks with mild compression can reduce lower extremity edema in patients with diabetes without adversely affecting arterial circulation, according to a randomized control trial presented at the American Diabetes Association 75th Scientific Sessions Conference. (more…)

Read More
1 2 3
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

Wound Care is Important. Please spread the word :)

RSS5k
Follow by Email102k
Facebook4k
Facebook