How to Treat and Prevent Adult Diaper Rash
Diaper rash is a condition most commonly seen in babies, but it can occur at any age, and is mainly due to the skin around the buttocks, genitals, and legs, being wet for extended periods of time. Adult diaper rash is a common condition for people with urinary incontinence because the products being used to manage their symptoms may not have the proper fit or absorbency for their needs.
Causes of Adult Diaper Rash
The main cause of adult diaper rash is skin irritation. This irritated skin becomes the site of adult diaper rash because the skin has been damp for an extended period of time. Using incontinence products, like underwear or pads, to manage symptoms is useful because many products have an absorbent layer to wick away liquid and keep skin dry, but if you aren’t using the correct absorbency or go too long without changing, this moisture can cause skin irritation.
Another cause of skin irritation is rubbing or chafing. This occurs because poorly fitting incontinence products, such as wearing the wrong size underwear to increase absorbency, can chafe the skin. The repeated irritation from wearing the wrong size underwear or pad leads to adult diaper rash.
Symptoms of Adult Diaper Rash
The symptoms of adult diaper rash range from a slight irritation or itch in the affected area, to a large, painful red rash with raised bumps. Skin rash symptoms depend on how long the skin irritation has been present, such as how long the skin has been wet without being cleaned or dried properly, or how long skin chafing has been occurring.
Most common symptoms of adult diaper rash include:
- Small pink patches of irritated skin
- Pink, itchy patches of skin
- Raised, painful, red bumps with a surrounding rash
Treatment for Adult Diaper Rash
Most cases of adult diaper rash can be treated at home with over-the-counter remedies. To reduce symptoms, it’s important to keep the affected skin clean and dry as much as possible. This will give the skin time to heal and will reduce the skin wetness or chafing that caused the irritation.
It’s also good to use disposable washcloths or wipes when changing incontinence products to remove bacteria before wearing clean items.
Adult Diaper Rash Prevention
The following tips can help prevent adult diaper rash from occurring:
- Change incontinence products throughout the day once items are wet or soiled.
- Keep skin that comes into contact with underwear or pads clean and dry.
- Increase airflow by wearing proper fitting briefs or pads.
- If symptoms allow, take breaks between wearing products to give the skin time to dry.
- Wear incontinence products that offer the right absorbency for your needs.
Using skin relief cream on your skin containing natural ingredients and essential oils daily is another effective way to prevent and/or treat adult diaper rash.
Adult diaper rash can be prevented by wearing incontinence products that are designed to pull liquid to the middle layers. Consider a product like UnderX’s XSorb technology line of underwear that features a tri-layer core to wick liquid away from the skin to keep skin from getting irritated.
The best way to manage adult diaper rash is to try and avoid it. By wearing the correct fitting and proper absorbency products for your needs, selecting a product that wicks away moisture, and changing pads or underwear once they are soiled, you can reduce the chance of adult diaper rash from appearing.
Once an adult diaper rash is present, keeping the skin well treated with skin relief cream and spending as much time outside of incontinence products with dry skin as possible, the rash should clear up quickly. If adult diaper rash persists or seems to get worse despite over the counter treatment, consult a doctor.