In Kung Fu, there are certain styles or movements that may result to tearing or ripping of the skin. And since your sparring partner may use these styles against you, it would be good to know how to care for skin tear in case you have one.
Skin tears are wounds characterized by the separation of the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. They can be a result of accidents or lacerations of sharp objects such as a knife, glass, or even finger claws just like when the tiger claw style is used in Kung Fu. Additionally, older people are also more prone to skin tearing as the skin becomes delicate and dry. Despite efforts to avoid tearing of the skin, it is something that cannot be avoided especially if you are old and are still engaged in Kung Fu. Skin tears may also happen during other physical sports or work environments that expose you to sharp objects.
There are different stages for treating skin tears. The first stage is to control or stop the bleeding. To do this, pressure must be applied on the wound. The limb must be elevated if necessary. When the bleeding has stopped, you may start cleaning the wound using water or warm saline to remove any debris or residual hematoma. After the wound is cleaned, check the viability of the skin flap. If it is still viable, try flapping back the skin in place using damp cotton. You may then dress up the wound with appropriate topical products that can protect the wound while allowing it to heal. Your doctor may also recommend the most suitable topical product for your tear. If possible, do not touch the dressing for several days so as not to disturb the flap.
Regular cleaning and reassessment of the wound is important after it has been dressed. Every time dressing has to be changed, be gentle when removing the dressing and make sure to work away from the skin flap that is still attached. You can put a sign in the dressing as an indication on where the attachment is located. To minimize the trauma in this procedure, you could use a silicone-based adhesive remover or saline soaks. Gently clean the wound without disrupting the skin flap. Check also the skin integrity if the flap is already pale or has darkened. For a non-viable flap, debridement is usually necessary.
Aside from using ordinary dressing, other materials that can be used to protect the wound include hydrogel sheets which are effective in maintaining a moist environment for the wound. Protective sleeves which are tubular elastic support bandages can also hold the dressing in place without irritating the sensitive skin.
Moreover, it is also important that you check the wound from time to time for any sign of infection. Some patients such as those with diabetes are more at risk of developing infections. Symptoms may include erythema, oedema, bad odor and increased pain.
When it comes to treatment of skin tears, it is important to always keep the wound clean and protected from possible infection. But if infection does develop, it is best to seek medical attention so that necessary procedures can be administered to treat the tear.