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Emerging Technology for Enhanced Assessment of Skin Status

Borzdynski, Caroline J.; McGuiness, William; Miller, Charne

Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing: January/February 2017 - Volume 44 - Issue 1 - p 48–54
doi: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000293
Wound Care
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Pressure injury (PI) prevention has become a key nursing priority that requires clear identification of visual cues representative of PI risk. There is generalized agreement that erythema and skin wetness and/or maceration should be routinely examined by the clinician as part of PI risk assessment. Such an assessment is largely qualitative, deeply reliant on the perception and interpretation of the clinician. Consequently, skin parameters may be misinterpreted, underestimated, or even missed completely. Objective techniques are needed to augment accurate assessment of erythema and skin wetness and/or maceration. Biophysical skin analysis devices have been widely used in the cosmetic industry and clinical research to measure certain skin parameters for the purpose of skin health evaluation. This article describes 3 devices that enable noninvasive digital measurements of epidermal hydration, erythema, and epidermal lipids, respectively. The clinical application of biophysical skin analysis instruments in the assessment PI-related skin parameters could provide a feasible alternative to subjective assessment.

Caroline J. Borzdynski, BN(Hons), RN, Discipline of Nursing, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

William McGuiness, PhD, Nursing and Midwifery, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Charne Miller, PhD, Nursing and Midwifery, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Alfred Clinical School, The Alfred Centre, Prahran, Victoria, Australia.

Correspondence: Caroline J. Borzdynski, BN(Hons), RN, Discipline of Nursing, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC 3086, Australia (c2borzdynski@students.latrobe.edu.au).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2017 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.