Table 2

Synthesis of the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel position statement on pressure ulcer classification and incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) differentiation22 23

Pressure ulcerIAD
CausePressure and/or shear must be presentMoisture must be present (eg, shining, wet skin caused by urinary incontinence or diarrhoea)
LocationA wound over a bony prominence is likely to be a pressure ulcerIAD may occur over a bony prominence; however, pressure and shear should be excluded as causes, and moisture should be present
ShapeIf the lesion is limited to one spot, it is likely to be a pressure ulcerDiffuse, different superficial spots are more likely to be IAD
DepthPartial thickness skin loss and full thickness skin lossSuperficial (partial thickness skin loss)
NecrosisA black necrotic scab on a bony prominence is a pressure ulcer grade 3 or 4; if there is no or limited muscular mass underlying the necrosis, the lesion is a pressure ulcer grade 4No necrosis
EdgesDistinct edgesDiffuse or irregular edges
ColourIf redness is non-blanchable, this is most likely a pressure ulcer grade 1Blanchable or non-blanchable erythema; pink or white surrounding skin due to maceration