Protecting Your Skin From Incontinence

Incontinence can impact skin health in multiple ways, especially if left untreated! 3M answers all our questions on keeping your skin healthy following incontinence.

How does incontinence impact skin health?

Wet skin is weak skin. Skin exposed to incontinence becomes weak and can lead to redness, soreness and ultimately breaks in the skin. Skin damage from incontinence can become infected and there is an increased risk of developing pressure sores.

Which biggest mistake do people make when treating skin damaged by incontinence?

Using the wrong type of cream is one and can cause the skin to not be properly protected. Also, by applying too much or too often which creates a build-up of the cream on the skin, that is equally as ineffective.

If left neglected, what can happen to skin damaged by incontinence?

Skin damage from incontinence that is neglected will break down quite quickly, causing pain and discomfort. It is also more prone to damage from friction.

What risk factors can increase an individual’s likelihood of experiencing skin damage from incontinence?

Combined urinary and faecal incontinence, diarrhoea or frequent loose stools increase the likelihood of skin damage. Also, by not washing frequently and applying an appropriate barrier product.

What lifestyle changes would you recommend to control incontinence?

It is very dependent on the type and cause of incontinence. Seek guidance from a health care professional.  Causes of incontinence should be addressed and treated as appropriate.

How do you prevent further skin irritation or dermatitis, while treating incontinence-affected skin?

Ensure you are using and wearing appropriate protective incontinence devices whilst using a barrier cream that protects the skin and enables it to heal.

What ingredients would you suggest avoiding for treating incontinence-affected skin?

Any product that is not designed for treating incontinence related skin damage. Avoid using soap, moisturisers and soothing gels that don’t provide a barrier as they may irritate the skin. Use fragrance free, pH balanced cleansers or wipes.

Can topical and oral medications be taken together to treat infections?

It may be possible to use both at the same time but depends on which medication has been prescribed, seek guidance from your health care professional.

How convenient and comfortable are topical skin treatments for treating skin damage from incontinence?

Some products that are used to treat skin damage have an ingredient that allows the product to be relatively painless on application and are very convenient as remain effective on the skin for long periods of time.

How are 3M Cavilon’s Incontinence Creams different to other incontinence creams on the market?

Cavilon barrier cream’s unique formulation makes it especially durable and resistant to wash-off. It therefore only needs applying morning and evening, not after every episode.

Cavilon barrier cream does not transfer to underwear or incontinence pads. It also allows tapes and dressings to stick, which is unique for a cream. It can be used on intact and broken skin.

Cavilon no sting barrier film has a quick drying formula and its unique ingredients create a barrier that will be flexible and move with the skin preventing cracking, so it can protect the skin for up to 72 hours.

3M UK is a science-based technology company that is committed to improving lives and doing business in the right way – which is why we have been listed as one of the World’s Most Ethical Company for three years in succession. And we love applying our science to creating products that, in big ways and small, make things better in some way. Helping people to be safe. Making them more productive. Protecting their health. Safeguarding the environment. And we have an insatiable appetite for meeting the world’s ever-changing challenges.

At 3M, honesty, integrity and the ability to work as part of a team contribute to a culture that is founded on curiosity, problem-solving and collaboration. 

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