What are they?

Skin tears are rips in the skin that tend to occur as the result of accidents in all populations. However, if skin is fragile, such as in some elderly persons, the damage is more severe and healing can be challenging. 

How can they be prevented?

Prevention of skin tears is paramount! The prevention of injuries caused by banging into things (such as coffee tables or dishwasher doors) is important.

What is the usual treatment?

A health-care professional may assist with adapting and creating a safe physical environment that reduces the risk of skin tears. The wound will also need to be addressed and managed with guidance from a health-care professional.

When should one seek professional help?

Any time there is an inability to control the cause of the injury or an increase in pain, odour, swelling, or wound size a health-care professional should be consulted.