Q:

What is wound maceration?

A:

Quick Answer

Wound maceration occurs when the area of skin surrounding a wound has an excessive amount of moisture in it. Although common, maceration can be dangerous, especially with the elderly and immobile.

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What is wound maceration?
Credit: Kathleen Tyler Conklin CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Wound maceration can harbor fungus and bacteria, increasing the likeliness of infection. To avoid excessive moisture, bandages should be changed frequently. Sometimes smaller bandages need to be used to decrease the amount of sweat that gets trapped underneath.

Maceration is also what causes fingers and toes to get wrinkly after being exposed to water for too long, such as in a swimming pool. The skin becomes softer and looks whitish. It is also more fragile and prone to injury.

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