Tips for Incontinence Skin Care

With the warm and humid summer months in America, many of our customers find that they start to experience new skin health issues, or existing ones get worse.

The perineal area (think of the area that fits inside of your toilet seat when sitting down) is much more delicate than people think. The skin in this area is thin, sensitive, and exposed to bacteria from urine and feces.

While managing incontinence, your adult diaper, absorbent underwear or incontinence pad can trap moisture against your skin, particularly if it’s not changed promptly when soiled.

Many people assume that regular toilet paper is “good enough” to clean the perineum, and that soap and water in the shower is sufficient to maintain good skin health. But urine and/or feces and the drying effect of soap and water can quickly lead to itching, rash, and ultimately skin breakdown if not addressed.

Get ahead of perineal skin problems and keep your delicate parts healthy with these simple skin care tips for incontinence!


Wipes Disposable wet wipes or wash clothes are a popular option as they’re convenient and can easily be tossed in the trash. When purchasing, look specifically for those designed for incontinence, as they will neutralize surface soil. Adult washcloths are slightly more expensive than baby wipes but are adult-sized, meaning that you use far fewer of them. As always, remember to wipe from front to back so fecal contamination isn’t introduced into your urinary tract.

Helpful Tip: Wipes should always be disposed of in the trash, not flushed down the toilet, where they can cause big (and expensive!) plumbing problems for you or your local sewer system.

Perineal Cleanser – A more cost-effective and eco-friendly option than wipes, perineal cleansers are either wipe on/off or wash/rinse/dry with a cloth. They’re specially designed to neutralize urine and odor caused by incontinence.

Helpful Tip: Keep a stack of inexpensive face cloths and a lined waste basket with a lid in the washroom for the used cloths, to reduce odors between laundering.



If you’re not able to use a incontinence-specific cleanser, you may find that the soap and water is drying to your perineum. A simple and inexpensive incontinence moisturizer designed specifically for this delicate area can reduce itching and rashes.

Helpful Tip: Make sure that the moisturizer is fully absorbed and not tacky to the touch before putting your adult diaper/underwear/pad back on.



Barrier Cream/Ointment Barrier creams are designed to protect the skin from irritation caused by stool, urine, or excessive moisture. While many people reach for standard “diaper cream” like petroleum jelly, incontinence-specific products are far better for protecting the skin and reducing odors, and because so little is needed at each application, they’re well worth the cost.

Helpful Tip: No matter what cream or ointment you choose, use the smallest amount possible, generally only the size of a pea. Applying large amounts can actually rub off onto your absorbent underwear or adult brief and reduce it’s ability to absorb urine!


Anti-Bacterial or Anti-Fungal Creams

If you find that you’re experiencing substantial rashes, have increased redness or itchiness, or have developed a persistent unpleasant odor, its important that you consult with your doctor or nurse practitioner as you may need a anti-bacterial or anti-fungal cream to treat a more serious infection.


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