Preventing Diaper Rash
It is important to understand that preventing diaper rashes in the first place is by far the best treatment. For people who are mobility challenged or even bedridden rashes are a serious concern that need to be prevented, if possible. Diaper rashes can easily progess into very serious issues like bed sores that can be very painful and dangerous.
The three main factors that lead to diaper rashes are heat, friction and moisture. Keep in mind that quality adult diapers, quality pullups, quality barrier creams, quality cleansers and all quality incontinence products are made to reduce these three factors that contribute to diaper rashes. So, start with quality incontinence products and follow these suggestions to help reduce heat, friction and moisture.
1. Adult diapers and pullups need to be changed regularly.
Changing diapers regularly results in clean and dry diapers. Patients and loved ones left in a soiled diaper for too long will develop skin problems. Standard practice is to change adult pullups and diapers every 2 to 3 hours during the day and every 5 to 8 hours at night.
2. Make sure you are using a good quality pullup or diaper.
Many adult diapers and pullups are manufactured outside of the USA and can be made with materials that can cause issues for the wearer. If the wearer is developing a reaction be aware that he or she may be reacting to the diaper material itself. Try using the same diaper in a higher absorbency level. If there is still a reaction it may be the pullup or diaper itself. It is always a good idea to choose incontinence products that are Look for made in the USA. These products have specific regulatory standards that they must meet.
3. Choose an adult diaper or pullup with a high enough absorbency level.
Adult pullups and diapers are made with differing levels absorbency. You can find light absorbency to moderate absorbency to heavy absorbency levels. You will need an absorbency level that is high enough to keep the wearer dry enough between changes to keep skin healthy. When the absorbency is not heavy enough the wearer can be left in a soiled diaper which can lead to diaper rash or even worse skin issues. When the adult pullup or diaper is not absorbent enough to keep the wearer dry it is necessary to buy a product with a heavier absorbency level or to simply change the diaper more often.
4. Buy an adult pullup or diaper that has features that promote good air flow.
All good quality, USA made incontinence products are focused on getting better air flowing to the skin. The industry has moved away from plastic backings that increase heat and moisture. Now, the trend is to develop breathable, clothlike backings and side panels that are more comfortable against the skin of the wearer and increase airflow to the skin. Remember to choose adult diapers and pullups that have these features.
5. Clean skin regularly using gentle cleansers that are specifically formulated for sensitive and compromised skin.
Gently clean skin at every diaper change! It is necessary to use gentle cleansers and remove all urine and fecal matter from the skin before applying a high quality barrier cream and putting on a clean diaper or pullup. You can find cleansers that are specifically designed to help protect compromised skin. Some cleansers are so gentle they do not even need to be rinsed off the skin. These products have the added benefit of being easier for both the ewarer and the caregiver by eliminating the rinsing step in the process.
6. The better the barrier cream the better the protection.
Using a high quality barrier cream is an important factor in keeping skin healthy. You should use one and apply it liberally at every diaper change. They provide a barrier that keeps the fluids released off the skin. The better the barrier cream, the better the protection for the skin. Use a good quality barrier cream and apply it liberally at every diaper change! With this strategy you can often avoid diaper rashes altogether.
7. Increase airflow to the skin by removing the diaper or pullup if necessary.
When diaper rashes or other skin issues become chronic it sometimes becomes necessary to simply take off the diaper and let the skin get air. Simple exposure to air is tremendously healing for skin. Remember to keep the skin clean with a gentle cleanser and put underpads (also called chucks) underneath and around the patient. Underpads keep the messes contained. Also, remember to turn the patient every few hours so the area of concern can get maximum exposure to air and to protect the other skin areas.
If after trying these strategies you are still having difficulties with diaper rashes and other skin issues please see a doctor who specializes in skin and wound care. Diaper rashes and skin issues must be addressed right away because they can quickly progress to more serious skin issues that can be very painful and dangerous.