Skin tears: state of the science: consensus statements for the prevention, prediction, assessment, and treatment of skin tears©

Adv Skin Wound Care. 2011 Sep;24(9 Suppl):2-15. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000405316.99011.95.


The appropriate management of patients with skin tears is an ongoing challenge for healthcare professionals. Skins tears are often painful, acute wounds resulting from trauma to the skin and are largely preventable. Healthcare professionals must be able to identify individuals at risk for skin tears and aid in the prevention of these wounds and in their treatment when they occur. Despite preliminary studies that suggest skin tears may be more prevalent than pressure ulcers, there remains a paucity of literature to guide prevention, assessment, and treatment of skin tears. As a result, these wounds are often mismanaged and misdiagnosed, leading to complications, including pain, infection, and delayed wound healing. In addition, skin tears increase caregiver time and facility costs, cause anxiety for patients and families, and may reflect poorly on the quality of care delivered in a facility. In an effort to shift awareness toward this largely unheeded healthcare issue, a consensus panel of 13 internationally recognized key opinion leaders convened to establish consensus statements on the prevention, prediction, assessment, and treatment of skin tears. The initial consensus panel meeting was held in January 2011 and was made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Hollister Wound Care. This document details the consensus definition and statements, as well as recommendations for future research and steps toward establishing a validated, comprehensive program for managing skin tears.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Biomedical Research
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Lacerations / nursing*
  • Lacerations / prevention & control*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Skin Care / nursing
  • Tissue Adhesives / therapeutic use
  • Wound Healing
  • Wounds and Injuries / nursing*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Tissue Adhesives