What would happen to a wound without proper periwound management? The truth is, wounds need to be managed properly in order to heal correctly. If a wound isn’t treated properly, skin breakdown can easily occur. So, why is periwound management so important? It’s all about the goal. Periwound management aims to prevent infection and stop skin breakdown. It does this by maintaining a moist environment.
Of course, there are comorbidities that make skin more vulnerable to infection. For people with these conditions, periwound management is especially important. Otherwise, skin may begin to break down or become infected. That’s why it’s incredibly important to figure out if you have one of these conditions or a risk factor that could lead to poor wound healing. For example, diabetes is a big risk factor for chronic wounds and skin breakdown.
Assessment of Periwound
A periwound assessment is performed in a medical setting by a trained medical professional. During the assessment, your wound care specialist will take a full look at your skin, the wound, and the skin surrounding the wound. The area they’ll look at extends to about 4 cm from the wound bed.
Your wound care specialist will pay special attention to all of the major characteristics of the wound, including its size, shape, and color. Also important are the margins and edges of the wound, which let your wound care specialist know how the wound is healing and if there’s an infection. It also helps them identify the actual wound type.
Questions Your Wound Care Specialist May Ask
- What is the temperature of the periwound? Is it hot to the touch?
- What type of exudate is coming from the wound? How much exudate is coming from the wound?
- Where is the wound on the body?
- What is the shape of the periwound?
- What is the color of the periwound?
- How deep is the wound?
Key Terms Periwound Management
When it comes to wound care management, there are terms you may hear. Some of them you’ll hear often, and some a lot less. Here are some terms to keep in your back pocket.
- Abscess – a collection of infected fluid underneath the skin.
- Crepitus – a crackling or popping sound that comes from air inside a wound.
- Denuded – when exposure to moisture completely erodes the skin.
- Erosion – a partial or full loss of the skin’s epidermis.
- Epibole – when the edge of a wound is thick and rolling under the skin.
- Hyperkeratosis – the formation of hard tissue (keratin) around a wound.
- Induration – abnormal hardening of tissue because the wound is stuck in the inflammatory phase.
- Maceration – oversaturation of skin in a moist environment; causes breakdown.
- Moisture-Associated Skin Damage (MASD) when skin is damaged because of moisture, including maceration and denuding. Can be caused by prolonged exposure to urine, stool, exudate, perspiration, ostomy effluent, saliva, or mucus.
- Pitting edema – an edema that leads to pitting or indentation of the affected area.
- Non-pitting edema – when fluid is found in the tissue under skin and it cannot be indented; it is taut and shiny.
- Secondary cutaneous infection – a bacterial infection that occurs within another bacterial infection.
Prevention & Management: Periwound Skin Breakdown
Complications can arise any time the skin is broken. That’s why prevention, treatment, and management of the periwound are important. Using the appropriate dressings and managing the wound properly will help move the healing process along. The end goal is the healthy and complete closure of the wound.
In order to prevent and manage the skin breakdown of a periwound, there are certain products you may want to have on hand. Think of these products as a general category of product that you can purchase online or through your wound care specialist.
- Skin sealant dressings
- Foam dressings
- Barrier creams and ointments
Periwound skin damage can be avoided if the wound is taken care of immediately and properly. Don’t wait for the wound to become compromised. Moisture balance should be taken seriously in order to avoid maceration or denuding of the skin. Your wound care specialist will take a good look at the wound to determine the best course of action. They will take into account your age, prior skin conditions, history of skin breakdown, allergens, and etc. That said, to clinicians in the field of wound care, every wound is taken seriously because any wound is vulnerable to further skin breakdown. That’s why clinicians use the prevention strategies and products listed above. The key terms listed above should serve as a general guide. Of course, there are many more terms you’ll come across; these are just a few.
Contact Wound Care OC for wound treatment in Orange County, CA
Dr. Faried Banimahd is a board-certified physician specializing in emergency medicine, wound care, and pain management. Our team will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan that meets your needs and unique conditions. Our clinic includes highly trained and experienced physicians, registered nurses, and certified medical staff who work together to provide you with the highest standards of wound care treatments.