The prevalence of skin tears is thought to be rising in line with the world wide ageing population. Skin tears may be under-recognised, misdiagnosed and inappropriately treated. This article explains why skin tears occur, how they can be prevented and how to treat them.
Alice Evans has knocked her leg and sustained a 25cm long laceration. The wound is bleeding and there is some loss of skin. Mrs Evans has sustained a skin tear. This is an acute wound that is more likely to occur in older people. Staff in primary care, in care homes, in the ambulance service, walk in centres and accident and emergency may encounter people with skin tears. The causes of skin tears may not be understood and wounds may be inappropriately treated.