Urinary and bowel incontinence can be embarrassing, interfere with life, and lead to social anxiety or isolation. It can also affect your skinMany people with incontinence are in denial of how severe their problem is, or think they can control it. Unfortunately, by very definition, incontinence is an involuntary release â€“ meaning it cannot be controlled. Feeling this way toward incontinence is not managing it. And not managing it can lead to skin problems.
When skin stays wet due to urine or stool in contact with it, it can break down. Moisture isnâ€™t always damaging, but because of the pH of urine, damage can occur.
People suffering from incontinence must take care to keep their skin clean and dry. Unfortunately, accidents can happen while out and about, and incontinence undergarments can worsen skin irritation. This condition is called dermatitis, and can more specifically be called incontinence-associated dermatitis.
Skin just being wet is not damaging, but due to the pH level of urine, skin exposed to it can break down over time. Urine contains ammonia, which increases the pH of skin. Urine and stool matter on skin can lead to bacterial infections. They can also cause fungal infections.Â Wearing incontinence undergarments, whether for urinary or bowel incontinence, can make skin irritation worse.
There are many skin products available to remedy these skin issues. There are moisture barrier lotions, ointments and powders. There are also prescription topical solutions. It is important to be sure to change incontinence undergarments frequently and keep all sensitive areas dry and clean, using a non-irritating cleanser. The most important aspect of incontinence skincare is staying dry.
Wearing incontinence undergarments is a good short-term solution but in the long term, the root of the problem needs to be treated â€“ and it can be treated. If you or a loved one are suffering from incontinence,Â contact usÂ or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at 800-771-1953. We offer individualized treatment plans.