Diaper Rash – What Is It?
Adult diaper rash is seen more often today than in the past because more adults have urinary incontinence and fecal incontinence. Diaper rash is a type of contact dermatitis or skin irritation. It is indicated by redness, sometimes red bumps and in more extreme cases even blisters or open sores.
What Causes Adult Diaper Rash?
Many things can cause diaper rash. Often the most likely culprits are acids in urine and fecal material laying directly on the skin. However, some people have a sensitivity or even an allergy to perfumes and odor suppressants in disposable diapers. Some are sensitive to soap and fabric softener residues left in cloth diapers after washing. The wrong size diaper, one that doesn’t fit properly, is one cause of adult diaper rash. However, moisture and chemical skin irritants are most often the cause. Some people have a sensitivity to the “wipes” used to clean the body after the soiled diaper has been removed.
Can This Contact Dermatitis Be Dangerous?
If diaper rash is left untreated, a secondary infection can occur so it is extremely important to a) take steps to prevent diaper rash and b) if the rash occurs, start proper treatment promptly.
What Do I Do First To Prevent This Rash?
The most important thing a care giver can do to prevent adult diaper rash is to keep the diapered area clean and dry. You should expect to change the diaper about 6 to 8 times every day to prevent a long exposure to toxic irritants. Said in another way, you should check the condition of the diaper every 3 to 4 hours. Actually it is best to change the diaper immediately after it is soiled. This will remove the toxic substances that cause the irritation before they do any damage.
Don’t Disposable Adult Diapers Prevent Diaper Rash?
No. If you buy adult diapers and you choose disposable diapers, you may be able to go longer between changings, because the absorptive gels in these types of diapers wick the urine away from the body. However, many diapers are not hypoallergenic and the chemicals the manufacturer adds to prevent odor can cause a rash in some diaper users. Some people do not have a sensitivity to these substances while others do. So, if you are keeping the diapered area dry and there is still a rash that doesn’t want to go away, try another brand of disposable diaper or even cloth diapers for a while. If you try all these tips and the rash does not show signs of improvement in 3 or 4 days, you should seek medical help.
Don’t Cloth Diapers Promote Diaper Rash?
No. If you buy adults diapers and your choice is cloth diapers, make sure that you wash them in a very mild soap like Dreft. Don’t use fabric softeners. And, use two rinse cycles in order to make sure all the soap has been removed. I have heard that changing the PH of the diaper by putting vinegar in the last rinse cycle also helps, but I don’t know this to be a fact. It can’t hurt though, so if you want to try it add about one ounce of vinegar per gallon of water.
Check For Wetness more often.
Also, if using cloth diapers, you will need to check for dampness more often since the diaper itself does not wick the liquid away from the body but allows it to lay directly on the skin. Ouch! Change the diaper as soon as possible after it has been soiled to prevent diaper rash problems.
Don’t The Plastic Pants Make Diaper Rash Worse?
It can, if you don’t check for wetness often enough. Also, if you are using cloth diapers and have a bad rash, it may be necessary to wear the diaper without plastic pants until the rash heals. Plastic pants do a great job of preventing liquids from getting out of the diaper and on the bed or on clothing. However, it holds heat inside thereby raising the temperature of the diapered area and creating a fertile environment for germs of all kinds. Remember we want to prevent a secondary infection, so, don’t ignore this tip.
If I Have A Diaper Rash, How Do I Treat It?
The next article will discuss How To Treat Adult Diaper Rash.