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Keeping Skin Healthy

Here are the top nine ways you can help keep your client’s skin healthy!

1. Monitor your client’s skin from head to toe at least once a day. Look for changes in color, texture, temperature and for any new breaks in the skin. Report any changes right away.

2. Streamline skin cleansing practices. All clients should avoid cleaning with extreme friction or rubbing, harsh soaps or with water that is too hot. Instead use warm water, mild (perfume and dye-free soaps) and wash skin gently to avoid tearing or burning.

3. Limit full baths. For older clients with frail skin, full baths should be limited to two or three per week and should be alternated with partial baths. Apply a moisturizing lotion after each full and partial bath to prevent drying.

4. Carefully watch for incontinence. Change any briefs or pads as soon as they are soiled or wet. Check the groin and buttocks area frequently. Use a barrier cream to help keep moisture off the skin.

5. Keep a turn schedule. Clients that are immobile need to be shifted repositioned or moved at least once every two hours. Use a turn clock or other device to stay on schedule.

6. Catch pressure ulcers early. Monitor skin over bony areas (base of the spine, heels, hips and knees) for any early warning signs of a pressure ulcer. Report any skin that is first white, then red. It may be cool or warm to the touch. Never massage this area; it will make the damage worse.

7. Watch food and fluid intake for healthy skin. Hydrated skin is healthy skin. Make sure your client drinks as much water as the care plan allows and eats a healthy diet.

8. Teach! If your client is being discharged to home or is a home health client, take time to teach him or her and the family about healthy skin care practices. Make sure they know what products to use and how to use them.

9. It takes teamwork! If a skin condition is diagnosed, be sure to read and follow the care plan carefully. Check with the nurse if you aren’t sure what to do. Be sure to talk to the wound nurse for further advice or instructions. Keep the lines of communication open because any changes can mean a change in the treatment plan!

Sighted from: In The Know

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