Caring for Incontinence and Avoid Skin Breakdowns

By: Noah Lam

Incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine. Dealing with incontinence occurs to about 15% of the population, and a protocol must be in place to prevent skin breakdowns. You should also consult your physician, and review the management protocol with any staff. Healthcare workers have different experiences and you need to share and clarify your requests and concerns with them.

Skin breakdowns caused by incontinence can appear as redness on the skin. The skin may be itchy and feel raw. Left unchecked the skin conditions can deteriorate quickly causing pain and open wounds that may result in a critical medical condition.

1 - Choosing the right incontinence product is imperative. Some incontinence conditions may require a light incontinence pad, and others will require an overnight diapers. Each manufacturer has its advantages in regards to pH balance, rewet and absorbency. Consulting with your medical supplier as well as your physician will help you pinpoint the appropriate product

2 - Proper Sizing is necessary for containment. A size too big may open gaps, and too a size too small may cause leakage. As a tool, you should measure hip to hip, multiply by 2 and add 2 inches for the size of a diaper.

3 - Change the incontinence product you are using as often as possible. In addition to changes after voids, you should have a set schedule for changes. This one action can prevent most skin breakdowns.

4 - Providing air to the perineal area provides circulation for the skin. When using an incontinence product, such as a diaper, sometimes the moisture trapped in the diaper and lays on the skin for a prolonged amount of time.



5 - When changing an incontinence product, cleansing the area with the right products is imperative. First spraying the area with a non-irritating, no rinse, perineal cleanser. Perineal Cleanser provides an anti-microbial action, eliminates odors, remoisturizes and will not dry out the skin like ordinary soap and water. Next you need to wipe the area with a disposable washcloth to thoroughly clean up the any dried urine and feces.

6 - A skin protectant ointment helps seal out wetness. In addition, zinc oxide helps treat and prevent skin rashes. Also this ointment will leave the skin soft and supple. There are skin protectant products available that combines a perineal cleanser, skin protectant, and a wipe, all in one.

7 - Poor nutrition can lead to development of wounds. Protein is necessary to maintain skin integrity and elasticity to help avoid tearing. Protein also helps build new skin so that open wounds will close and cover over. Protein is a big component in fighting infections. If your diet cannot compensate for addition protein needs. A protein supplement may be needed.

In addition, calories provide energy to the body to keep working every day. Your body works hard during wound healing, you need to maintain your energy.

8 - If a skin breakdown does occur, you should consult a physician. You may need additional wound dressing and products to help heal the open sore. In addition, modification of the diet may be required. Eventually the open wound will disappear.

9 - Incontinence Air Deodorizers deactivates foul odors on contact and reduces airborne bacteria.

These steps provide dignity to your family member or patient. This quality of care is a priority for peace of mind for everyone involved. Please visit www.cwimedical.com for more information.

Skin Care
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