Impaired Skin Integrity Nursing Diagnosis

Skin integrity describes the condition of the skin and its ability to resist external forces, such as pressure or shear. It is a key component of the integumentary system and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis. The skin is the body’s largest organ, responsible for protecting against infection and providing sensory input from our environment. If compromised, it can lead to serious medical complications such as infections, wounds or altered sensation (hypoesthesia). Skin integrity may be impaired due to inadequate moisturization (xerosis), physical trauma or disease processes like diabetes mellitus or peripheral vascular disease.

Impaired Skin Integrity Nursing Diagnosis

1 Nursing Care Plans for Impaired Skin Integrity

You can download the Nursing Care Plans for Impaired Skin Integrity below:

  • Nursing Diagnosis for Impaired Skin Integrity
  • Nursing Care Plan for Impaired Skin Integrity

2 What Is Impaired Skin Integrity?

Impaired skin integrity is the inability of the skin to function normally. It may also be described as a lack of resistance to damage and a loss of normal appearance and function.

Skin integrity is assessed by evaluating four factors:

  • Structure—the structure of the skin, including its thickness, coloration, temperature and moisture content. The structure includes intactness of the epidermis (upper layer) and dermis (lower layer).
  • Function—the ability of the integumentary system or its parts to perform their specified functions. Included in this category are sensation perception; protective mechanisms that maintain homeostasis; healing processes such as wound contraction; and temperature regulation through sweating or insulating fat tissue layers beneath it

3 Causes of Impaired Skin Integrity

There are many conditions that can result in impaired skin integrity. The following is a list of common causes:

  • Skin breakdown, which may be caused by friction or shearing forces, such as pressure ulcers (bedsores), trauma and/or burns.
  • Skin irritation, which can cause redness, itching, burning and pain. Irritants include soaps and detergents; mechanical irritants such as rough surfaces; chemical irritants such as solvents; natural substances such as sunlight or extreme temperature changes; infectious agents including bacteria that cause impetigo; fungal infections like athlete’s foot; viral infections like chickenpox or shingles; allergic reactions to medications (e.g., penicillin); food allergies (e.g., peanuts) or airborne allergens such as pollen grains or mold spores that cause hay fever symptoms during springtime months where grass pollen allergies are common).

4 How to Assess Skin Integrity?

In order to assess skin integrity, you need to know your patient’s condition, location of the skin defect, age group and type of condition.

  • Patient’s Condition:
  • If the patient has open wounds or drains that are draining fluid then this indicates a loss in skin integrity.
  • If there are burns on the body then this indicates a loss in skin integrity.
  • If there is redness and swelling around an area then it shows an increased risk for infection which can cause further damage to the patient’s body tissue causing a loss in skin integrity

5 Nursing Diagnosis/Nursing Care Plan for Impaired Skin Integrity

Nursing Diagnosis: Impaired Skin Integrity

Description: Defined as the condition of having damaged skin. This may be described by any one or more of the following symptoms: soreness, itching, redness, swelling and/or pain. This condition can occur in all areas of the body but is most commonly associated with those who have mental illnesses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Category: Physical

Code: N/A

6 Interventions and Rationales for Impaired Skin Integrity

Interventions for Impaired Skin Integrity

  • Assess the client’s skin integrity.
  • Teach the client skin self-care and dressing skills.

7 Other Nursing Diagnosis You Might Be Interested in Nursing Diagnosis for Cellulitis Nursing Care Plan

  • Cellulitis is a condition that occurs when bacteria enters the skin and causes infection. Bloody or red swelling and pain are common symptoms of cellulitis, but some patients may not have any symptoms at all. If left untreated, cellulitis can become necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) which can be fatal if not treated quickly.


There are a number of ways to handle your impaired skin integrity, but the most important thing is to stay proactive. You should always be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of this condition, whether they are related or not.

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