Incontinence Questions and Answers:
1) Adults may get a nappy rash or "diaper dermatitis" It is a potential problem for anybody with a continence issue. You will see a red area that may be quite bright, and spots or blisters can also occur. If the person seems unwell at the same time, it is advisable to contact your health care professional.
2) It is caused by the same things as in a child- urine, rubbing against the skin. The presence of stool will make it more likely It can occur after a recent course of antibiotics if that has led to an upset tummy. Soggy skin and friction will make it worse- vigorous rubbing with a towel can damage fragile skin. Highly perfumed soaps or bath products can also lead to problems
3) Prevention is better than cure! When incontinence is an issue, it helps to use a pad of the right size and change it once stool is present or once it is full to its working capacity. The skin should be cleaned with a "skin friendly" product. Ordinary soap is best avoided in this area for the vulnerable person. The skin should ideally be gently patted dry, and talc NEVER used. Alternative soap-free products should be considered, available from chemists and larger supermarkets
4) All chemists carry an extensive range of creams, and the Pharmacist is an excellent source of individualised advice, and they may be available on prescription via a health care professional. There are different types of barrier creams. Some need applying at every product change, while others less often. With all of them, the key is to just use a minimal amount - the skin colour should be easily visible, a white coating means that you have been far too generous! And please do resist the temptation to wipe any excess on to the pad - you're just making it waterproof
5) Confirmation of local disposal arrangements can be obtained from your council. While it could be considered as technically clinical waste, most domestic users will dispose of it as their neighbours dispose of children's nappies - bagged in their general refuse. Care homes need to use clinical waste service.