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Skin Tear


A skin tear occurs when the layers of weakened skin split open from an injury. It is important to treat and prevent skin tears to prevent infection.


Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever or chills.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have redness, swelling, pus, or a bad odor coming from your wound.
  • You have severe pain.
  • Your wound tears open again.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines may be given to decrease pain or treat a bacterial infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Prevent a skin tear:

  • Clean, moisturize, and protect your skin. Baths, hot showers, and soap can dry your skin and increase your risk for skin tears. Take lukewarm showers, use mild soap as directed, and gently pat your skin dry. Use lotion to keep your skin moist after you shower. Wear long sleeves, pants, and protective footwear.
  • Move carefully. Ask for help if you cannot lift yourself. Do not drag your skin when you move.
  • Keep your home safe. Cover sharp corners, keep your pathways clear, and turn on lights so you can see clearly. Ask for more information if you have questions about home safety.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask your provider how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids will help keep your skin moist and protected from another skin tear.
  • Eat high-protein foods to help with wound healing. Examples are lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, and beans.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Skin Tear (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.