Table of Contents
Keeping Skin Clean. Proper hygiene is essential for patients with incontinence.
To avoid skin irritation and infection associated with incontinence, keep the area around the urethra clean. The following tips may be helpful:
- After a urinary accident, clean any affected areas right away.
- When bathing, use warm water and don't scrub forcefully; hot water and scrubbing can injure the skin.
- A number of cleansers are available that are specially created for incontinence and allow frequent cleansing without over-drying or causing irritation to the skin. Most do not have to be rinsed off; the area is simply wiped with a cloth.
- After bathing, apply a moisturizer plus a barrier cream. Barrier creams include petroleum jelly, zinc oxide, cocoa butter, kaolin, lanolin, or paraffin. These products are water repellent and protect the skin from urine.
- Anti-fungal creams that contain miconazole nitrate are used for yeast infections.
Preventing or Reducing Odor. Certain methods may help reduce odor from accidents. They include:
- Deodorizing tablets can be taken by mouth or used in appliances.
- Drinking more water, not less, will also reduce odors. Drinking more water may actually help reduce leakage, too.
- To remove odors from mattresses, use a solution of equal parts vinegar to water. Once the mattress has dried, apply baking soda on the stain, rub it in, and then vacuum it off.
Review Date: 07/26/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.