Left untreated, skin damage caused by incontinence can become a persistent condition. Basic cleaning products such as the usual shower gels or soaps can be too abrasive on already damaged skin, hence the importance of using specialist products exclusively designed to treat skin damage created by incontinence.
Broken skin is highly susceptible to infection of both bacterial and fungal types; the most common type of infection caused by incontinence is a yeast infection. Antifungal medication, for example Diflucan, can be prescribed by your doctor to kill the fungus internally, in conjunction with antifungal creams such as miconazole and terconazole which can be applied topically on a regular basis to treat the skin.
Another reason to avoid using general shower gel or body wash products in the treatment of skin damaged by urinary incontinence is that they often contain fragrances, parabens, sulphates and latex, ingredients which can aggravate the skin and lead to further breakdown.
There are certain other risk factors which increase the likelihood of urinary incontinence creating skin damage; these include dry skin, receiving medication for other illnesses and being older.
Say No to Talc
As tempting as it may be, and although it appears like an obvious go-to, talcum power is a definite ‘no’ for treating skin affected by incontinence. Talc clogs the pores and makes the skin dryer; the fragrance on top only serves to foster irritation. In addition to avoiding talc, do not use products containing alcohol, as this will only exacerbate the irritation.
Regular washing is an essential requirement to treating incontinence-affected skin, so be sure to wash the skin twice a day and remember to finish by gently patting down the area, not rubbing. Washing is ideally performed immediately after urinating or defecating.
Of course, a regime of bladder training whereby you slowly increase the time between each trip to the toilet may help you to improve control over urination and be of long-term benefit to the source of the problem.
Dietary changes involving cutting down on alcohol or caffeine intake are another fantastic method of gaining control and giving you the autonomy to decide when you go. Additionally, regular exercise and consuming less of certain acidic fruits such as lemons, fruit juices and grapefruits, will allow you to recover further control and independence over your body.