Find tips, tricks and information to help you along the way.

07.29.19

Prevent Skin Breakdown and Diaper Rash

Apply diaper cream, ointments and protective barriers with gloves.

Skin protection is a top concern for anyone using or handling children’s or adult diapers. Skin is delicate and sensitive to breakdown. There are various creams, ointments, and protective barriers to keep skin healthy and protected against moisture, bacteria, fungus, and waste. 

If you are a parent, caregiver, or a person who wears incontinence diapers or pads, you understand you must change products regularly when used. In preventing diaper rash or skin breakdown, it is necessary. Waste is acidic and detrimental to the skin. It will irritate bare skin it makes contact with, no matter the diaper absorbency. Some people are more sensitive than others, but most people have naturally sensitive skin in the groin area.

Diaper rash occurs with food allergies or reactions to lotions as well. Allergic reactions also occur to materials in the diaper itself, primarily any latex or the chemicals used to make the diapers. Many manufacturers no longer use known allergens in their incontinence products. Changing products frequently and avoiding allergens are not always enough. You need a skin barrier.

PRO TIP: THERE IS A CREAM FOR EVERY BUDGET

Diaper Rash: Treatment and Prevention

An easy way to prevent diaper rash is to apply a skin barrier cream before putting on the diaper. Diaper ointments come in many forms to treat all levels of skin irritation caused by most skin irritants. Most of these creams and ointments are available without a prescription.

An old and tested skin ointment is petroleum jelly. It keeps the skin coated and protected against urine and feces. Petroleum jelly is naturally water repellant. Some people do not like using petroleum jelly because of the chemical components. This is a personal preference. There are also alternatives to petroleum jelly that work alike. Lanolin-based ointments are thick and work the same as petroleum jelly but with an added moisturizing effect. 

PRO TIP:  These ointments and creams are going to be thick. It is advised wearing a non-latex/vinyl glove on the hand used to apply the creams. 

But if you don’t want to deal with the mess of an ointment, a good alternative is a barrier cream. Barrier creams, or zinc oxide creams, are still very thick and messy but easier to wash off. They are a skin paste which combine several ingredients to protect the skin. While not as waterproof as an ointment, they are easier to clean. And while it may seem like a catch, if you or your loved one have diarrhea, an easier to clean cream may be your preference to waterproofing the skin. You decide what’s best for you.

If your diaper rash is the result of a fungal infection, or if your skin has broken into sores, you can mix these ointments and creams into a medical salve. It will combat multiple symptoms of the diaper rash if your doctor has noted their presence. Talk to your doctor first or about which ointments to mix. You can always buy pre-made barrier creams. There are many name brands. Ask a pharmacist. 

Preventing skin breakdown is essential. If your child or loved one is on Arkansas Medicaid or in a PASSE, they may be eligible for incontinence products, including gloves and skin creams. Call us at 501-663-6600 or send an email to wecare@finneganhealth.com today!

Nick Cheek

nick

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