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Adult Nursing PracticeUsing evidence in care$
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Ian Bullock, Jill Macleod Clark, and Joanne Rycroft-Malone

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697410

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199697410.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

Understanding Skin Conditions

Understanding Skin Conditions

(p.190) 12 Understanding Skin Conditions
Adult Nursing Practice

Steven J. Ersser

Oxford University Press

The aim of this chapter is to provide nurses with the knowledge to be able to assess, manage, and care for people with skin conditions in an evidence-based and person-centred way. The chapter will provide a comprehensive overview of the commonest skin diseases and their causes before exploring best practice to assess and help patients to manage skin conditions. Nursing priorities are highlighted throughout, and the nursing management of the symptoms and common health problems associated with skin conditions can be found in Chapters 19, 20, 21, 24, 27, and 28 on skin care and the maintenance of skin hygiene, skin barrier integrity, the prevention of skin breakdown, and wound management, respectively. Skin care is a fundamental area of nursing responsibility. The skin, or integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body and has significant protective and thermoregulatory functions. Skin disease is common, accounting for approximately 24% of GP visits (Schofield et al., 2009). It may have a major psychosocial impact on a person’s quality of life through its influence on appearance, body image, and self-esteem. This chapter introduces you to the common skin diseases that you are likely to encounter when caring for adult patients and outlines the nursing problems that you will need to manage. The cause or aetiology of common skin conditions lies with the interaction between genetic and environmental factors. For example, a child’s eczema is influenced by his or her genotype and his or her exposure to environmental allergens. Within the UK population, 23舑25% have a skin problem at some time in their lives that can benefit from medical care (Schofield et al., 2009). Skin problems are the commonest reason for consulting a GP, with 6% referred for specialist advice. As such, all registered nurses should have the knowledge and skills to manage the common conditions. The commonest skin conditions in the Western hemisphere are chronic inflammatory skin diseases (CISDs), such as eczema. In developing countries, the common conditions are infections and infestations. The quality-of-life impact of CISDs can exceed that for life-threatening conditions such as cancer (Rapp et al., 1999; Kingman, 2005).

Keywords:   acid mantle, calcipotriol, dermatitis, eczema, fingertip units, headlice, lice, melanoma, oedema

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