Skin Problems That are Caused by Incontinence
Moist, hydrated skin is healthy skin, but when skin becomes constantly exposed to moisture it can begin to break down and can become unhealthy. On the other hand, severely dry skin can be unhealthy, too. In both cases, waterlogged skin or overly dry skin can become a breeding ground for bacterial growth and other skin irritations. When you are managing a bladder control problem or fecal incontinence, knowing how to keep your skin healthy is critical to your well-being.
Bacterial Infections often occur when your skin is exposed to urinary or bowel waste while wearing incontinence products for too long between changes. Bacterial growth can even result in constant urinary tract infections. As a caregiver or someone managing incontinence, keeping skin protected and clean with a gentle wet wipe specifically formulated for sensitive skin between changes can make a big difference to your health and comfort. Regular soap can be harsh and can sting sensitive skin, so a pH balanced moist wipe is best.
Skin Care Recommendations
Maceration occurs when the skin is constantly wet and will cause skin to soften and break down over a period of time. This can lead to sores and ulcers that will be painful and difficult to heal under constantly saturated conditions. If you must wear pull-on underwear for an extended period of time, it would be good to find a product that will create a waterproof sealant or moisture barrier to keep skin dry and more comfortable until the next change.
Perineum Dermatitis is also known as incontinence dermatitis. It is classified as “diaper rash” in babies, but in older adults it is known as perineum dermatitis. This adult diaper rash can be a painful skin condition and it involves the breakdown and tearing of skin due to constant exposure to the chemical compounds found in urine and bowel elimination from wearing a soiled pad or adult diaper for too long between changes. If you must sit for long periods of time, remember to shift your weight from side to side as often as possible to cut down on skin irritation in this area.
Fungal Infections can cause the skin to feel hot and itchy, and causes the skin to look bright red and is accompanied by a burning sensation. A good anti-fungal ointment or cream will help this to go away and to become better with proper use over time. While wearing incontinence products for men and for women, skin can become damp and warm and this can create the right atmosphere for a painful fungal infection.
There are many discreet, unscented skincare products available to keep you feeling fresh, dry, clean, and odor free. The best line of defense in preventing skin irritation is to remember to change your pad or pull-on product as often as possible. And opt for a product that pulls moisture away from your skin and one that will prevent leaks and accidents from happening so your skin will stay healthy and pain-free.