The importance of skin cleansing in wound care
The skin is the largest organ of the human body and healthy intact skin provides a barrier preventing the ingress of microbes. It is integral to human survival. When the skin is breached a cascade of events are triggered, that, all being well, result in wound healing. Healing times are dependent on several factors including the age of the patient, wound location, nature of the injury and underlying pathophysiology associated with the wound type. This article seeks to review the evidence associated with wound and periwound skin cleansing and highlights its importance in relation to patient outcomes.
Evidence-based practice is a central tenet of the NHS and cost-effectiveness, value for money and quality assurance are key measures of this in practice (Department of Health, 2016). The number of patients living with a wound is rising (Guest et al, 2105) and this is largely attributed to an ageing patient population.
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