One of the major issues in dealing with incontinence is preventing adult diaper rash. Adults who have to deal with either urinary or fecal incontinence can be at risk for developing rashes. It is important to understand that diaper rash is a form of skin irritation that comes under the category of contact dermatitis. Most of time, it presents itself as redness or as red bumps, but if it is allowed to develop it can turn into blisters or open sores. If the diaper rash is allowed to develop too far without treatment it can cause skin breakdown which puts the person with incontinence at risk for serious and even life threatening infections.
In order to prevent adult diaper rash it is important to know what causes it. One of the main causes of diaper rash is when the person with incontinence wears the wrong size incontinence undergarment. It is crucial that whether the person is wearing incontinence underwear or an adult diaper that it be sized correctly for the wearer. If the person is using incontinence supplies that don’t fit they are far more likely to have rubbing or chaffing that can increase the chances of developing adult diaper rash. This makes it crucial that the person with incontinence or their caregiver choose the right size and gender of the incontinence product. Keep in mind that there are incontinence products for men and incontinence products for women.
Another major cause of diaper rashes is sensitivity to the chemicals and dyes that can be in certain incontinence products. This means that it is important to choose incontinence supplies that are not full of perfumes, chemicals, and dyes that can irritate the skin and begin an adult diaper rash. Many people who find that they have extra sensitive skin turn to using washable incontinence products next to their skin in order to minimize exposure to these irritants. If further protection is needed then disposable incontinence supplies can be layered on top of them. In addition, it is important to choose incontinence cleaning supplies that are fragrance free and are gentle to the skin. This also helps to prevent adult diaper rash from developing.
Another preventive step to preventing adult diaper rash is to make sure that the person who is wearing the incontinence undergarment has it changed as soon as it becomes wet or soiled. When sensitive skin remains exposed to urine and stool this opens the possibility of an adult diaper rash. If the incontinent person is not able to change their own incontinence undergarment the caregiver will need to be vigilant about changing it immediately.
Finally, the person with incontinence or the caregiver should take extra care to make sure that the skin is completely cleaned and dried. Again, if the incontinent person has difficulty with mobility the caregiver may need to take an active role in the cleaning process. This includes: using wipes that are specially formulated to deal with incontinence, patting not rubbing the skin dry and applying a moisturizer or skin barrier cream to help keep the skin protected. Keep in mind that this is especially important if the person is older since aging skin can be extra delicate and fragile. Finally, a clean incontinence undergarment should be put back on. Taking all of these steps will help to prevent the serious problem of adult diaper rash.