A new methodology for evaluating the damage to the skin barrier caused by repeated application and removal of adhesive dressings
Chronic wounds require frequent dressing changes. Adhesive dressings used for this indication can be damaging to the stratum corneum, particularly in the elderly where the skin tends to be thinner. Understanding the level of damage caused by dressing removal can aid dressing selection.
This study used a novel methodology that applied a stain to the skin and measured the intensity of that stain after repeated application and removal of a series of different adhesive types. Additionally, a traditional method of measuring skin barrier damage (transepidermal water loss) was also undertaken and compared with the staining methodology.
The staining methodology and measurement of transepidermal water loss differentiated the adhesive dressings, showing that silicone adhesives caused least trauma to the skin.
The staining methodology was shown to be as effective as transepidermal water loss in detecting damage to the stratum corneum and was shown to detect disruption of the barrier earlier than the traditional technique.