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Skin tears are a common injury among elderly patients with fragile skin. They can be caused by every day accidents such as falling over or bumping into furniture, as well as friction from clothing or new surfaces such as a wheelchair or hospital bed. Anyone who is caring for elderly patients should be aware of skin tears. They can be painful and upsetting for patients who are affected, but are frequently ignored, misdiagnosed or mistreated. This is a problem because a hastily applied bandage or the wrong choice of dressing risks causing more damage, and turning an acute wound into a serious problem.


Easy to treat with the right products and training 

Skin tears are easy to miss, but fortunately they are often easy to treat with the right solutions and training. We support the work from the leading organisation International Skin Tear Advisory Panel (ISTAP) to help healthcare professionals assess, treat and prevent skin tears  .


In 1989, we changed wound care forever with the invention of Safetac® soft silicone. Offering an alternative to traditional adhesive dressings, those featuring Safetac® technology – such as Mepitel® One and Mepilex® Border Flex – can help reduce pain and trauma to the skin during dressing changes, making them particularly well suited to skin tears.

Mepitel® One is designed to facilitate safe and undisturbed healing including safe removal on skin tears where the flap is fully or partially intact        .

Mepilex® Border Flex - our next generation of flexible dressings are designed to stay on and uniquely conform, and with smart exudate management, providing confidence in leaving the dressing on longer. Suitable for a skin tear with total flap loss.

Managing skin tears

To become ‘skin tear aware’ carers need to consider the following:

Dressing a skin tear using Mepitel One, Mesoft and Mepitel Film
How to apply Mepitel One on skin tear

Dr. Kevin Woo, PhD RN NSWOC WOCC(C) FAPWCA, Associate Professor, Queen’s University, Canada, presents their first randomised controlled study evaluating the use of soft silicone dressings to promote healing of skin tears.

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