Bladder leakage accidents happen. Sometimes they’re just unavoidable. It’s not uncommon to be caught short when something puts pressure on the bladder – simple things like laughing, coughing, sneezing, exercise or lifting heavy objects, including children.

Rest assured, if it’s happened to you, you’re not alone. Around 4.2 million people in Australia alone are affected by bladder weakness or incontinence.1

It is estimated up to 37% of women suffer from some form of urinary incontinence during their lives (be it post child birth, menopause or later in life), as pelvic floor muscles weaken.2,3

While the availability and effectiveness of pads and the decline in stigma associated with incontinence have helped the management of the condition, the importance of skin care has yet to be universally accepted.

Wetness softens the skin, making it more prone to irritation and skin breakdown. Furthermore, urine contains urea and ammonia, both of which burn the skin.

Vulnerable spots are around the genitals and buttocks, and between the inner thighs.

To make matters worse, damp, warm skin is the ideal environment for the growth of bacterial and fungal infections.

Of course, there’s also the pain, discomfort and embarrassment of damaged and irritated skin.

So, as good as incontinence pads are, there are still precautions you should take to protect your skin. It is recommended that good skin care practices are carried out every day, as required.

It comes down to three simple steps:

  • Cleanse
  • Soothe
  • Protect

Cleanse, soothe and protect skin

Step 1: Use a pH balanced cleanser, not soap to keep the area clean and odour free.

Step 2: Soothe the skin to prevent dry cracked skin or further irritation. Make sure you use a cream that is paraben free and has been dermatologically tested.

Step 3: Use an effective barrier cream to shield the skin from moisture. Ensure it is free from parabens, as well as sodium laurel sulphate, and avoid talcum powder. Look for a barrier cream that is fragrance free, is well absorbed (so it doesn’t clog incontinence pads) and dermatologically tested.

For information and tips on skin care and bladder leakage, as well as specialised products, please take the opportunity to explore this website.


  1. The economic impact of incontinence in Australia. Continence Foundation of Australia 2011. Deloitte Access Economics