It starts with the skin
Many times, as wound clinicians, we get so focused on the treatment that we fall behind in getting preventative measures. In wound management, prevention begins with the basic but very necessary care of the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It regulates water loss and protects against chemical and microbial insults from the external environment; however, it still requires its own protection to keep it functioning correctly.
The skin has a protective coating called the acid mantle which maintains a skin pH level at around 4–5.5, slightly acidic. This acid mantle protects the skin and the body by inhibiting growth of microorganisms on the skin. If the acid mantle balance is disrupted or loses its acidity, the skin becomes more prone to damage and infection. Disruption of the acid mantle can occur due to over washing of the skin and/or frequent use of alkaline soaps.1 In addition, when it becomes compromised the skin can also become inflamed, dehydrated and dry.2
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