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It is important to carry out an inspection of the skin. Early intervention using skin protection strategies is necessary to prevent skin breakdown in vulnerable patients.

The periwound skin should be assessed for evidence of:

  • Maceration
  • Excoriation
  • Erythema
  • Loss of colour
  • Spongy texture
  • Loss of skin integrity

Early identification of tissue damage is vital to prevent the wound from increasing in size resulting in delayed healing (Dowsett, 2011).

Gentle cleansing of the surrounding skin will reduce the risk of excoriation from chronic wound exudate. Barrier products may also be required to give additional protection from maceration and excoriation.

Please refer to the Dressing Selection Simplified Guide for further details on dressings of choice for exudate management.