Stop Small Skin Tears from Becoming a Big Problem

Doctor applying cream to arm

Accidents are an unfortunate part of life, but when it comes to skin tears and wounds, something small can become a problem. As we get older, our skin loses its elasticity and becomes thin, making tears more likely to occur. Here are some great tips on both preventing skin tears and wounds and caring for them.

Preventing Skin Tears

Yes, there are some ways you can prevent skin tears and wounds.

Moisturise daily. We should ideally begin looking after our skin when in our youth but moisturising daily at any age can still make a huge difference. Keeping your skin healthy and robust will stop those minor bumps turning into wounds.

Skin sleeves are for those with very tearable skin. They are flesh-coloured and provide an extra layer of protection. Alternatively, you could opt for longsleeved shirts and long pants. While not great in the summer months, they can help protect you in winter.

Assess the risks. Having a lot of furniture accumulated over the years can be nice, but trip hazards from old rugs and pointed edges are just accidents waiting to happen. Make sure you have adequate space in walkways and consider rounding off the edges of pointed furniture. Extra tip: Save money doing this by using child-proof equipment!

Caring and Treatment

Not all accidents are preventable. When they do occur, caring and treating the skin tear or wound is all you can do. Here are a few tips to try to heal quickly and don’t develop an infection.

Stop the bleeding. Using a clean, dry, towel, place gentle but firm pressure on the wound. Do this for ten minutes at a time. If the bleeding does not stop or adequately begin to slow, contact emergency services.

Clean the wound. Using saline, water, or wound cleanser, gently clean the wound. Remove all foreign bodies. Only do this with clean hands and sterile equipment.

Re-align the skin. If possible, and the wound is thoroughly cleaned, re-position the skin over the wound. Align the edges. This will aid it in healing properly and without much evidence.

Dressing the wound. Having a first aid kit will help with this part. Avoid adhesive bandaids where possible, as their subsequent removal can cause even greater skin tears and wounds. Use a wound pad and secure in place with a bandage, though remember to make it not too tight, as you want to allow for proper circulation. Consult a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for advice on keeping it dry and how often to change the dressing.

By following these steps, you can not only aid your body in caring for your own skin tears and wounds, but your knowledge can benefit those around you. Seek medical assistance if personal treatment is insufficient.

Australian Over 50s Living & Lifestyle Guide

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