Q:

What is skin integrity?

A:

According to the Victoria Australia Department of Health, having skin integrity means having skin that is whole, undamaged and intact. When skin has integrity, it is less prone to tearing or bruising and conveys pleasant and unpleasant sensations more easily.

Skin is the body's largest organ and has many functions, including keeping the body's inner temperatures at optimal levels, protecting the inner organs and allowing humans to have a sense of touch. When skin loses its integrity, it becomes thinner, looses its elasticity and loses its layer of fat, making it more difficult for it to do its job, notes the Victoria Australia Department of Health. Skin that loses its integrity is not just more prone to bruising, but it also heals much slower than whole, hydrated, undamaged skin.

Skin tends to lose its integrity as it ages. According to the National Institutes of Health, older skin is more vulnerable to cuts, bruises and punctures, but there are actions that individuals can take to improve their skin's integrity. Using daily moisturizers designed to dramatically reduce dryness can improve skin integrity. Also, avoiding both household and body cleansing products with harsh chemicals helps skin maintain its integrity, notes the National Institutes of Health.


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