What’s the Best Way to Take Care of a Skin Tear

Skin Tear Treatment in Nursing Home Residents:

Nursing home residents are very vulnerable to skin tears due to their weakened immune system. They have a low level of body fat which makes them prone to develop diseases such as diabetes mellitus and cancer. Their skin is also thinner than other age groups. These factors make them susceptible to developing skin tears especially if they don’t get proper medical attention immediately after injury or trauma.

The most common type of skin tear is called a “drainage” skin tear. A drainage skin tear occurs when there is damage to the blood vessels in one or both sides of the face. If not treated promptly, it may lead to infection and scarring.

Another type of skin tear is called a “dry socket”. Dry sockets occur when there is no blood flow through the damaged area. If left untreated, it may result in permanent vision loss.

There are several treatments available for these types of injuries. Some of them include surgery, plastic surgery, laser therapy and cryotherapy.

What Is the Best Way to Take Care of a Skin Tear?

In order to treat a skin tear properly, you need to understand what causes it and how to avoid it from happening again.

A skin tear or laceration is a type of wound in which the skin is cut open. It can either be a clean cut or a jagged cut and can either be shallow or deep. There are several types of skin tears such as avulsion, flap, gash, puncture, abrasion, incision, laceration, slice and skin trauma.

Skin tears are caused by sharp objects, heavy objects, heavy vibrations and motor vehicle accidents. Using proper protective gear while working with heavy machinery can help prevent skin tears from happening.

In order to treat a skin tear properly, the treatment should address the cause of it. If for instance, you got injured because of working with heavy machinery, then the root cause of the skin tear is the equipment that you were using.

Skin tears can also be prevented by wearing protective gear such as gloves, in order to prevent potential injuries.

How Long Does It Take For A Skin Tear To Heal?

The healing time of a skin tear depends on various factors such as the size of the wound, your general health, your age and the treatment process. A minor skin tear that is less than 0.5 inches in size can heal within a week. However, a skin tear that is large in size will take months to heal and in some cases may even leave a scar.

Your general health and age are also factors that determine how fast you will heal from a skin tear. For instance, older people tend to heal slower than younger ones. If you have other conditions such as diabetes or hemophilia, it will also affect the healing time of your wound.

How To Treat A Minor Skin Tear At Home

If you have a minor skin tear and do not have any other health complications, it is best to treat it at home. The steps in treating a minor skin tear are as follows:

Step 1:

Clean the wound with water and apply a bandage or sterile gauze pad.

Step 2:

Change the bandage or gauze twice or thrice a day until healed.

Step 3:

Consult a doctor if your wound gets worse or does not show signs of improvement.

How To Treat A Major Skin Tear With Medical Attention

Skin tears that are large in size, deep or have jagged edges will require the attention of a medical professional. There is also a possibility that you have an underlying condition such as diabetes and hence it is best to consult a doctor immediately.

The steps in treating a major skin tear with medical attention are as follows:

Step 1:

See a doctor immediately.

Step 2:

Get the wound cleaned and bandaged.

Step 3:

Consult a doctor for further treatment if needed.

Step 4:

Follow the doctor’s orders.

Important Note: It is always best to see a doctor even if the wound seems minor because you never know if you have an undiagnosed condition that might be affecting your health.

How To Prevent Skin Tears

Skin tears can be prevented by wearing protective gear such as gloves, aprons and safety glasses while working with heavy machinery. Wearing protective gear not only prevents skin tears but also prevents other types of injuries.

Skin tears are usually caused by blunt force or heavy vibrations. If you are working with a heavy machine, then it is best to wear gloves and other protective gear in order to prevent any accidents from happening.

Skin tears can also be prevented by wearing proper clothing while engaging in physical activity. Wearing the right clothes not only protects you from skin tears but also from other types of injuries as well.

In sports, protective gear such as helmets, knee pads and elbow pads can prevent skin tears by preventing other types of injuries as well. For instance, in biking, protective gear prevents not only skin tears but also bone fractures and bleeding.

Skin tears can be prevented in the kitchen by using heat-resistant gloves while cooking. These gloves will protect your hands not only from hot liquids but also prevent burns and cuts.

Preventing skin tears is very important since missing work to treat a wound could cause you to fall behind or even lose your job altogether.

5 Common Skin Conditions

Besides skin tears, there are other conditions that can affect the skin. Here is a list of the five commonest skin conditions:

Allergies: Allergies are a common condition that affects the skin. If you have an allergy to a particular substance such as pollen or animal fur then your skin will usually show signs of redness and irritation.

Dandruff: Dandruff is caused by an excessive amount of dead skin cells. It usually appears as white flakes on the shoulders and hair. It can be easily treated by using medicated anti-dandruff shampoo.

Fungal Infections: Fungal infections affect the toenails and fingernails causing them to thicken and discolor. A fungal infection can be identified by its yellowish or brownish tint. It can be treated by applying medication containing the active ingredient, ketoconazole, to the affected area.

Insect Bites: Insect bites are caused by the bite of certain insects such as mosquitoes and fleas. Some insect bites can cause an allergic reaction which will result in itchy red welts or hives appearing on the skin within 1 to 6 hours after being bitten.

Scabies: Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. It makes the skin infestations appear bumpy and have a grayish color. It can be identified by small burrows within the skin.

If your health care provider believes you have skin conditions other than skin tears or injuries then he or she will usually order a biopsy of the affected area and will also do blood work to rule out other medical conditions.

You can visit a medispa for skin care treatment. A skin care treatment usually involves exfoliating the skin and applying lotion or some other moisturizing agent. A skin care treatment can also consist of dermabrasion, microdermabrasion or even a seaweed wrap.

There are many other things that could cause skin tears such as animal bites, burns, cuts and bruises so always see your health care provider if you think you have one. If not treated properly, skin tears can lead to infections that could be potentially life-threatening.

What’s the Best Way to Take Care of a Skin Tear?

When caring for a skin tear at home here are a few things you should and shouldn’t do:


Clean the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic such as hydrogen peroxide.

Cover the wound to protect it from getting dirty or infected. A bandage or pad secured with medical tape is a good way to protect the wound. Change the dressing or bandage at least once a day.

If you can, raise the wound so it won’t touch anything (such as the floor or ground) while healing.

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relieve pain or reduce fever.

Watch for infection, such as redness, increased swelling, increased warmth in the area, pus or bad smell coming from the wound. If you notice any of these, seek medical attention immediately.


Don’t drink alcohol or use any alcohol based products (such as hand sanitizer), in the area of the wound. It can further irritate the skin.

Don’t pick at the scab. This can cause scars and further damage to the skin.

Don’t rub the wound. This can also cause scars and deformities.

Don’t expose the wound to direct sunlight. The skin needs to regenerate and sunlight can prevent this.

Don’t ignore the wound and hope it will heal itself. Without proper care, it can lead to amputation or in severe cases, even death.

What Else Should You Do to Take Care of the Skin Tear?

There are several things you should do to take care of a skin tear. These include:

Keep it clean: As mentioned above, keeping the wound clean is essential. If you were able to clean it right after receiving it then there is a good chance that contamination and dirt has not gotten into the wound. However, if it was a dirty wound to begin with then cleaning it properly is even more essential. You should wash your hands first before cleaning the wound.

If you have access to water, you can use running water (either from a faucet or bottle) and wash the wound out with it. If water is not available, antiseptic wet wipes or a pre-moistened disinfecting pad can be used. If you do not have access to water at all, antiseptic wet wipes or a pre-moistened disinfecting pad is the way to go. If you have neither of those, then try to wipe out the wound with clean cloth or paper towel until the blood and dirt has come out as much as you can.

Keep it covered: The skin around the wound may be sensitive due to trauma from the injury. You can buy special bandages from the store to cover it. Otherwise, you can use a piece of gauze and medical tape to keep it covered. You will need to change the covering at least once every 24 hours so it doesn’t get wet (and cause infection).

Keep off that foot: If the wound is on your foot or leg, try not to put weight on that limb. If the wound is on your arm, keep that limb raised so it doesn’t hang down.

Rest: Due to keeping the injury in a non-weight bearing state and keeping it clean and covered, resting is essential to the success of treatment.

How Long Will It Take to Heal a Skin Tear?

A skin tear should successfully heal within four to six weeks. During this time, it is essential that you keep the wound as sterile as possible and keep off of it. After a few weeks, it is okay to begin light exercising again. As long as the wound continues to not have signs of infection (such as redness, swelling, etc), you can increase your activity level until you are back at 100%.

How Can I Prevent Skin Tears?

The best way to prevent skin tears is to wear protective gear. This includes things such as helmets for cyclists and skateboarders, exercise mats for gymnasts and martial artists, and shin guards and elbow pads for players in baseball, soccer, and other contact sports. Of course, you should always wear protective gear when operating a vehicle. If you are operating a motorcycle or bicycle, wearing full face helmet is always advised.

Other preventative measures involve using tools and equipment correctly. If you are operating a chain saw, always make sure that you are wearing the right safety gear such as ear protection, safety glasses, a face mask and more. If you are using a table saw, always make sure that the blade is secured and centered correctly. Always read the instruction manual before attempting to use any tool or equipment.

If you are playing a sport, learn the rules and play by them. For instance, wearing helmets while bicycling, and elbow pads and knee pads while skateboarding are required by law in many places. Also, if you are playing football, rugby or other such contact sports, it is always advised to wear mouth guards, since you are more likely to sustain an injury to your face.

If you follow these steps carefully, you can prevent skin tears from happening. If you do sustain a tear, you can learn how to treat it with medical attention. Always keep the wound as clean as possible and rest to give it time to heal. You can prevent future tears by wearing protective gear and reading all manuals before using equipment or playing sports.

If you found this guide useful, please share it with your family and friends so they can learn how to treat a skin tear too. Thanks for reading!

Sources & references used in this article:

Preventing and treating skin tears by CA Fleck – Advances in skin & wound care, 2007 – cdn.journals.lww.com

Perineal skin tear repair following vaginal birth; skin adhesive versus conventional suture–a randomised controlled trial by RA Dasrilsyah, A Kalok, BK Ng, A Ali… – Journal of Obstetrics …, 2020 – Taylor & Francis

Skin tear prevention: what Is “usual” skin moisturising practice? by TN Newall – 2014 – espace.curtin.edu.au

A novel way to treat skin tears by S Moradian, AM Klapper – International wound journal, 2016 – Wiley Online Library

Cultural adaptation and content validity of ISTAP Skin Tear Classification for Portuguese in Brazil by CVB da Silva, T Campanili, K LeBlanc, S Baranoski… – Rev Estima, 2018 – skintears.org

Skin tear prevention and management by K Ousey – woundcare-today.com