Maintaining healthy skin is something many of us take for granted, but skincare is especially important for anyone affected by incontinence – adults and youngsters alike! Wet skin is far more prone to become irritated or broken, which can often be painful and distressing, and if exposed to bacteria, may result in an uncomfortable rash or infection.

Frequent washing with soap and water might seem a likely solution, but standard soap can be incredibly drying to the skin, which weakens it even more. Fortunately there are many products available to break this cycle and encourage a healthy skin care regime.

Step 1: Cleansing

Many of our customers find that replacing traditional soap and water with cleansing foam and mild liquid soap helps massively. These products are gentler than soap and are designed to maintain the skin’s natural PH and balance, leaving the skin feeling clean and free from odours. The products we have selected to sell at Arelle are by Abena – they are free of perfume and unnecessary colourants, and are dermatologically tested, making them very suitable for children, as well as adults.

When bathing or showering, we recommend a mild body wash for deodorising and good hygiene maintenance. We suggest you choose a product that is easy to rinse off (so it is gentler on your skin), and contains only mild, active ingredients and nourishing components to prevent the skin from drying out.

An alternative to a cleanser is a wipe which gently dissolves any irritants. You can choose between incontinence wet wipes and dry wipes – the main difference being you can use dry wipes for applying a cleansing product, whereas a wet wipe can be used on its own. Our range of wet wipes is unperfumed and they are a hygienic and time-saving alternative to foams and soaps.  Our dry wipes are softer and gentler than many other types on the market, and can provide comfort with the simple addition of warm water; however, we recommend you use them alongside a foam or liquid soap for the best results.

sink with skincare products

Step 2: Moisturising

Having cleansed the skin, the second stage is moisturisation. While some foams, soaps and cleansers will have some moisturiser in them, a dedicated moisturiser will contain soothing and nourishing ingredients to regenerate the skin’s own defence system and help restore skin elasticity. We choose to sell Abena’s body moisturiser, as it is free from colourants and perfumes, and is asthma allergy certified. Plus it gets great feedback!

Step 3: Protection

It is really important to consider adding a protective barrier into your skincare regime. Zinc ointment is particularly good, as it disinfects, reduces inflammation and aids the repair of irritated or damaged skin. We recommend the Abena zinc ointment, because it contains 20% zinc oxide, which, along with dimethicone and vegetable oils, provides a soothing protective water-repellent membrane. It also contains anti-inflammatory allantoin, and glycerine, which retains moisture in the skin. As with all Abena products, it is asthma allergy certified and contains no colorants or perfume, making it particularly good for the care of infants, and can also help in the prevention of pressure sores for those who are bed-bound.

Step 4: Keep dry

The best prevention against skin damage caused by incontinence is to keep the skin dry. You should try and choose incontinence products with a soft top sheet next to the skin and an absorbent core which will quickly wick moisture away and trap it there. The huge choice of products can be quite overwhelming, so we can always advise the product which is best suited for you.

Do give us a call if you need some help or advice. We are here Monday to Fridays during office hours on 0800 389 3597 or you can email us at info@arelle.com