HARTMANN in South Africa
Incontinence > Tips for treatment and care > Act prudently if the patient has skin diseases

Act prudently if the patient has skin diseases

An important pillar of therapy of dermatological diseases is a local therapy with ointments, tinctures, special dressings, baths etc. Frequently the professional nurse is responsible for administering the treatment, particularly on disabled or frail patients or patients with dementia.

Dermatological diseases should be treated by a professional nurse.

The following points should be considered before the treatment:

  • How to apply a special ointment (a thin or thick layer, only spread it or rub it on),
  • the best way to apply tinctures and solutions to the sick area of the skin (pipette, applicator or cotton applicator, however the latter must not be dipped into the tincture a second time!),
  • how to apply special dressings, such as occlusive or ointment dressings, correctly and
  • how to carry out medicinal oil baths or a hair wash correctly.

Of course it is necessary to be informed about the effect of the employed preparations.

Because it is always better to obtain this information from the attending physician and not only from the package leaflet, a good working relationship with the physician is important.

Advising and supporting patients sensitively

Skin diseases can be seen and are sometimes also disfiguring. This can severely damage the self-esteem of the person affected. Therefore it is a great relief for the affected person if the carer treats his problems sensitively and helps him to accept his body and his appearance with self-confidence.

Sensitive support is also often necessary during activities of daily life.

Some examples:

  • Is the patient allowed to take a shower or a bath?
  • What about the rest of his body care?
  • Does it have to be ensured that cleanliness and body hygiene are practiced meticulously?

Because skin diseases are often attributable to allergies, nutritional consulting and supervision are very important. If necessary a special diet can support treatment.

Do not forget self-protection

Disposable glove for hygienic performance of work.

Individuals who take care of patients with skin diseases are often afraid of a possible infection. Barriers and possibly revulsion can best be overcome by being informed in detail about the existing illness:

  • Is the illness infectious?
  • How can the illness be transmitted?
  • How large is the risk of infection?

In general, absolutely correct, hygienic performance of work is always essential for self-protection and for the patient’s protection, even if the skin disease is not infectious.



Hygienic performance of work also requires that protective clothing is worn:

  • Gloves
  • Protective gowns
  • Disposable aprons
  • Possibly a protective cap and mask

All dressing changes must be performed under sterile conditions with sterile wound dressings, swabs and instruments. Washcloths and towels must only be used for the affected body part respectively. Therefore hygienic disposable washcloths and towels are appropriate for this purpose.

The hygiene guidelines or standards of the nursing home are binding for the detailed procedures.