10.1 Integumentary Introduction

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Learning Objectives

  • Describe risk factors for integumentary disorders
  • Identify cues related to alterations in integumentary system across the life span
  • Differentiate findings among diverse clients
  • Identify interventions to preserve skin integrity
  • Contribute to a plan of care for clients with integumentary disorders

The integumentary system includes skin, hair, and nails. The skin is the largest organ of the body and has many purposes. Our skin keeps us warm and contains nerve endings that control the ability to feel the sensations of hot, cold, pain, and pressure. Our skin also keeps harmful things out of the body, such as dirt, bacteria, and viruses, and keeps helpful things like moisture in. Maintaining intact skin is important to prevent infection and maintain health. This chapter will review the anatomy and physiology of the integumentary system, factors that affect healthy skin and healing, and interventions that nurses perform to repair and protect this vital organ.


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