Also referred to as perineal dermatitis, incontinent dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin due to contact with urine or stool. It commonly develops in elders with urinary and fecal incontinence.
Because of increased exposure to the bacteria found in urine and stool, the symptoms associated with this condition can include a painful burning or stinging sensation.
Read on for more information on how to recognize and treat incontinent dermatitis.
Please keep in mind that although these tips and information have worked for several sufferers, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.
What is Incontinent Dermatitis?
Incontinent dermatitis occurs in those struggling with involuntary loss of urine or stool (incontinence). Primarily affecting the area around the genitals, thighs, and abdomen, it develops when the protective barrier created by the skin is damaged following exposure to urine or stool.
Symptoms of Incontinent Dermatitis
The prime characteristic of incontinent dermatitis is skin damage such as inflammation and erosion. As opposed to healthy skin, which acts as a barrier between the outside environment and the inside of your body, incontinent dermatitis erodes this barrier. This can lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain or tenderness
- Burning or itching sensation
- Redness (light pink to dark red, depending on skin tone)
- Skin lesions or infection may occur
- Patches of inflammation
What Causes This Condition?
Because the skin becomes inflamed when regularly exposed to feces or urine, incontinent dermatitis is directly linked to incontinence. For those suffering with fecal incontinence, the condition can actually be worse as stool is more irritating to the skin than urine. An increase in the skin’s pH level and the creation of ammonia by urinary and fecal incontinence can also result in perineal dermatitis.
Furthermore, while you may think you’re doing yourself a favour by attempting to thoroughly clean the affected area, be careful. Over-hydrating the skin or frequently using soap and water can also cause problems. That being said, inadequate cleaning of the exposed area and poor management is not helpful either. Be sure to avoid the use of abrasive washcloths and steer clear from applying thick ointments.
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Perineal Dermatitis Treatment Methods
In the past, incontinence was managed by using soap and water to clean the affected area. However, we know now that soaps can actually further dry out the skin and worsen inflammation.
The best way to prevent or reduce the risk of developing perineal dermatitis is to practice a higher standard of skin care. To do this, it’s important to establish a proper healing environment and protect the skin from further exposure to irritants.
Here are our top tips for prevention and treatment:
- Clean your skin with appropriate products. Look for a cleanser that balances your skin’s pH level
- Change absorbent pads regularly in order to manage any urine leakage
- Use gentle linens to clean the area as opposed to rough washcloths
- Protect the area with products containing zinc oxide
We recommend Remedywear™’s allergy-free underwear. Made with hypoallergenic fabrics, such as organic cotton, bamboo and TENCEL, they’re sure to keep the skin safe from irritants and allergens. Plus, their moisture-wicking properties help prevent chafing and further irritating your skin.
These Women’s Latex Free Panties are specially designed to protect sensitive skin around your crotch, bottom, hips, or upper thighs. Lightweight and soft, they offer the perfect amount of stretch as well as full rear coverage and a double panel crotch liner.
For men, we suggest these Men’s Boxer Briefs because they’re embedded with zinc oxide, renowned for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Featuring a latex-free elastic waistband, the fabric is sure to stay in place all day and night, ensuring lasting comfort without any rubbing, sliding, or pinching.
Share your best skincare tips in the comments!