Maintaining skin integrity bariatric patients

Br J Community Nurs. 2012 Apr;17(4):154, 156-9. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2012.17.4.154.


The skin is the largest organ in the body, accounting for 16% of total body weight. Individuals who are obese face particular dermatological challenges, and health professionals working in the community setting should be alert to these risks. Skin assessment should be undertaken by a competent practitioner within a holistic framework. If assessment and treatment is not undertaken in a timely manner there is risk of tissue damage with associated cost and care implications. This article discusses aspects of skin care that apply particularly to bariatric patients, and draws on best practice guidance from the literature to help nurses ensure that the patient is appropriately managed in relation to their skin care, wound treatment and body dynamics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / nursing*
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Care*
  • Skin Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena