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Medical adhesive-related skin injury

26 March 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 6


The skin's main function is to act as a physical barrier against harmful substances. Medical adhesive-related skin injury (MARSI) is a prevalent and under-reported condition that compromises the skin's integrity. Repeated applications and removal of appliances can increase the likelihood of MARSI occurring. Prevention and treatment are key to ensure appropriate skin preparation, product appliance and removal. The use of structured approaches is imperative and there is a need to increase the awareness of MARSI among patients and health professionals to ensure that informed decisions are made.

It is estimated that one in 500 people in the UK are living with a stoma (Colostomy UK, 2019). The most common complaint about surgical stoma formation relates to skin issues. The consistency of the stoma output can affect skin integrity and lead to pain and discomfort, have an impact on quality of life (QoL), delay rehabilitation after surgery and increase product usage and healthcare costs. Peristomal skin problems can impair adhesion of the pouch, which may further exacerbate the skin condition. It is reported that 60% of ostomates experience skin issues, which has an impact on their QoL (Bartle et al, 2013; Chandler, 2015).

De Campos (2017) found that ostomates reported feelings of stigmatisation, embarrassment, fear of the unknown and discomfort due to the sounds and odours from their stoma. According to patients, these are exacerbated when leaks occur, making ostomates more likely to withdraw from social activities, thus affecting their QoL (Lee and Morris, 2003; Cottam et al, 2007).

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