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Incontinence and Skin Care

Gina Flores
Caregiver Advocate | Shield HealthCare
07/26/11  7:35 PM PST

Skin care management is critical for people suffering from incontinence. Poorly managed incontinence can create skin irritation and subsequently lead to the formation of pressure ulcers and other complications. A low humidity environment and increased activity all reduce the potential for the development of pressure ulcers. A balanced skin care management program includes choosing the right products for the individual’s needs.

Skin should be cleansed at the time of soiling and at routine intervals. Avoid hot water and use a mild-cleansing agent that minimizes irritation and dryness of skin. No-rinse washes and cleansers are generally preferred over the traditional alkaline based bar soaps because they are convenient, save time and effectively remove the urine and/or feces without discomfort. A pH balanced washes is more gentle to the skin for each and every wash. Skin cleansers quickly and effectively remove body waste residue, stop odors, and should contain no artificial colors or fragrances.

The next line of defense for keeping the skin clean, dry, and supple is a non-alcohol based skin cream. A recent clinical study showed that consistent use of this type of skin cream improved the skin condition in 78 % of the subjects in the study. Skin cream should contain vitamins A, D and E to moisturize the skin. A blend of moisturizers, humectants and emollients will lubricate and soften skin that has been irritated by urine, feces and other waste matter.

Quilted mattress pads may be used to maximize care and comfort. Pads are designed to provide comfort and protection to bed, wheelchair and other medical equipment. Waterproof mattress pad protectors fit securely over the mattress and beneath the bottom contoured bed sheet. Frequently changing and washing the pad lowers the risk of bacterial build up due to urine and feces.

Since urine is a primary cause of skin irritation, absorbent incontinence products are needed to draw the moisture away from the skin. Routine changes throughout the day are needed to reduce moisture in the affected area. Wash and cream should then be applied upon each change to treat the area exposed to urine or feces.

Shield HealthCare offers a wide selection of  products to help manage incontinence including adult diapers, youth diapers, bladder control pads and underpads. Satisfying the needs of our customers with exceptional service and unique product solutions is what we do best.

Note: Insurance coverage varies by state for some incontinence items

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