Dermatitis is a general term that describes an inflammation of the skin. There are different types of dermatitis, including seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Although the disorder can have many causes and occur in many forms, it usually involves swollen, reddened and itchy skin.
Nursing Care Plans
The nursing care for patients with dermatitis involves treatment for atopic lesions consisting of eliminating all allergens and avoiding irritants, extreme temperatures, and humidity changes, and other factors. Therapy also involves teaching the client on the proper application of topical medications.
Impaired Skin Integrity
- Contact with irritants or allergens
- Dry, flaky skin
- Erosions, excoriations, fissures
- Pruritus, pain, blisters
- Patient maintains optimal skin integrity within limits of the disease, as evidenced by intact skin.
|Assess skin, noting color, moisture, texture, temperature; note erythema, edema, tenderness.||Specific types of dermatitis may have characteristic patterns of skin changes and lesions.|
|Assess the skin systematically. Look for areas of irritant and allergic contact.||Flexural areas (elbows, neck, posterior knees) are common areas affected in atopic dermatitis.|
|Assess skin for lesions. Note presence of excoriations, erosions, fissures, or thickening.||Open skin lesions increase the patient’s risk for infection. Thickening occurs in response to chronic scratching (lichenification).|
|Identify aggravating factors. Inquire about recent changes in use of products such as soaps, laundry products, cosmetics, wool or synthetic fibers, cleaning solvents, and so forth.||Patients may develop dermatitis in response to changes in their environment. Extremes of temperature, emotional stress, and fatigue may contribute to dermatitis.|
|Identify signs of itching and scratching.||The patient who scratches the skin to relieve intense itching may cause open skin lesions with an increased risk for infection. Characteristic patterns associated with scratching include reddened papules that run together and become confluent, widespread erythema, and scaling or lichenification|
|Identify any scarring that may have occurred.||Long-term scarring may result in body image disturbances.|
|Encourage the patient to adopt skin care routines to decrease skin irritation:||One of the first steps in the management of dermatitis is promoting healthy skin and healing of skin lesions.|
||Long bathing or showering in hot water causes drying of the skin and can aggravate itching through vasodilation.|
||Rubbing the skin with a towel can irritate the skin and exacerbate the itch-scratch cycle.|
||Lubrication with fragrance-free creams or ointments serves as a barrier to prevent further drying of the skin through evaporation. Moisturizing is the cornerstone of treatment. Over-the-counter moisturizing lotions include Eucerin, Lubriderm, and Nivea. Lotions are lighter and less emollient than creams. If more moisturizing is required than a lotion can provide, a cream is recommended. These include Keri cream, Cetaphil cream, Eucerin cream, and Neutrogena Norwegian formula. Ointments are the most emollient. Vaseline Pyre Petroleum Jelly or Aquaphor Natural Healing Ointment may be beneficial.|
|Apply topical steroid creams or ointments.||These drugs reduce inflammation and promote healing of the skin. The patient may begin using over-the-counter hydrocortisone preparations. If these are not effective, the physician may include prescription corticosteroids for topical use. Usual application is twice daily, thinly and sparingly. Do not use with an occlusive dressing, because this potentiates the action and systemic absorption of the steroid. Usual duration of use of topical steroids is up to 14 days in adults.|
|Apply topical immunomodulators (TIMs):
|Tacrolimus (Protopic) has recently been approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. TIMs alter the reactivity of cell-surface immunological responsiveness to relieve redness and itching. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration advised a potential cancer risk with long-term use of pimecrolimus and tacrolimus based on animal studies.|
|Prepare the patient for phototherapy or photochemotherapy.||This treatment modality uses ultraviolet A or B light waves to promote healing of the skin. The addition of psoralen, which increases the skin’s sensitivity to light, may benefit patients who do not respond to phototherapy alone.|
|Encourage the patient to avoid aggravating factors.||Some change in lifestyle may be indicated to reduce triggers.|
Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.
- Nursing Care Plans: Nursing Diagnosis and Intervention (10th Edition)
An awesome book to help you create and customize effective nursing care plans. We highly recommend this book for its completeness and ease of use.
- Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions and Rationales
A quick-reference tool to easily select the appropriate nursing diagnosis to plan your patient’s care effectively.
- NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023 (12th Edition)
The official and definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA-I. This book focuses on the nursing diagnostic labels, their defining characteristics, and risk factors – this does not include nursing interventions and rationales.
- Nursing Diagnosis Handbook, 12th Edition Revised Reprint with 2021-2023 NANDA-I® Updates
Another great nursing care plan resource that is updated to include the recent NANDA-I updates.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5(TM))
Useful for creating nursing care plans related to mental health and psychiatric nursing.
- Ulrich & Canale’s Nursing Care Planning Guides, 8th Edition
Claims to have the most in-depth care plans of any nursing care planning book. Includes 31 detailed nursing diagnosis care plans and 63 disease/disorder care plans.
- Maternal Newborn Nursing Care Plans (3rd Edition)
If you’re looking for specific care plans related to maternal and newborn nursing care, this book is for you.
- Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care (7th Edition)
An easy-to-use nursing care plan book that is updated with the latest diagnosis from NANDA-I 2021-2023.
- All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health (5th Edition)
Definitely an all-in-one resources for nursing care planning. It has over 100 care plans for different nursing topics.
Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:
- Nursing Care Plans (NCP): Ultimate Guide and Database
Over 150+ nursing care plans for different diseases and conditions. Includes our easy-to-follow guide on how to create nursing care plans from scratch.
- Nursing Diagnosis Guide and List: All You Need to Know to Master Diagnosing
Our comprehensive guide on how to create and write diagnostic labels. Includes detailed nursing care plan guides for common nursing diagnostic labels.
Other nursing care plans affecting the integumentary system: