Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury: Treatment and Prevention


Medical adhesive-related skin injury, or MARSI, is a common type of skin injury, often seen in inpatient settings and in vulnerable populations with fragile skin such as older adults (decreased elasticity, usually multiple pre-existing comorbidities) or pediatric patients (skin is not fully developed). MARSI is caused by trauma to the skin from medical adhesives (think of things such as… tape used to secure a dressing after a blood draw, clear film dressings, ostomy pouches, external catheters in men, tube securement devices, surgical dressings, etc.). MARSI is not a pressure injury and is not caused by pressure.


Anytime we are consulted or asked to follow up on a new wound, one of the things we are assessing for is the cause of the wound or injury—trauma, pressure, moisture, friction, shear, impaired blood flow, etc. It is important to look at the big picture and what caused the wound or skin injury. Many variables can and do make wounds and skin conditions worse, but when determining the true etiology, we must look at what initially caused the problem … read more