It doesn’t matter where exactly I am educating, I see it everywhere: the vicious cycle of chronic intertrigo and/or candida infections (candidiasis) of the skin in the long-term care arena. Skin and soft tissue infections are the third most common infection in long-term care.
This ongoing problem is now receiving more attention due to state surveyors becoming certified in wound care. State surveyors will be up-to-date on skin and wound care management. Law firms are also advertising any type of skin breakdown as a negligence issue. Moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) and fungal skin infections are preventable. Fungal skin infections that lead to further skin breakdown equal poor quality of care, read more about from this clear nails plus review.
I observe health care provider orders time and time again for antifungal powders/creams, numerous types of ointment/creams, and even nurses whipping up their own concoctions to treat fungal infections of the skin. Nurses should protect their license and remember that compounding is the pharmacist’s job. I have also observed antifungal treatment orders in place for up to two years! Why? Recurring fungal rash/infections, due to gaps in nursing education. We as wound care clinicians must help to close these gaps.
Intertrigo and Yeast or Candida Skin Infections
Intertrigo is caused by moisture being trapped in skin folds. A dark warm area along with skin on skin friction will harbor bacteria, fungus and yeast. The symptoms typically include odor, itching and burning. Commonly affected areas include under the breasts, skin folds on the belly or thighs, the armpits and groin. However, it can happen anywhere there is moisture against the skin with a lack of air circulation.
Most people suffer from yeast (candida) skin infections in the perineal, buttock, and groin area. Some of the common symptoms of yeast infection are red, pimple-like bumps, with severe itchiness.
Skin Care 101: How to Prevent Fungal Skin Infections
- Cleanse skin with a pH balanced skin cleanser, no-rinse cleanser, or mild soap/water, then rinse.
- Dry the skin thoroughly. Soft cloth or pat dry technique.
- Incontinence care: Apply a skin sealant or barrier cream containing zinc oxide. All steps must be repeated after each incontinence episode. (Follow your policy and procedures for incontinence care. Check and change every 2 hours, etc.)
- Other locations: Moisturize with lotions containing lanolin or a petrolatum base. This will serve as a protective barrier.