Incontinence is the medical term used to describe accidental leakage of urine from the bladder or faecal matter from the bowel.

You may be surprised to learn that Incontinence is quite common. Over 4.8 million Australians have bladder or bowel control problems for a variety of reasons.1 Sadly, incontinence has some serious consequences:

• Impact on quality of life
• Embarrassment and fear
• Interference with recreational activities
• Impact on relationships
• Skin damage

The good news is that incontinence can be treated and managed. While much has been done to reduce the stigma surrounding bladder leakage, the importance of skin care is sometimes ignored, so people’s lives are still being negatively impacted.

There is no doubt that incontinence pads have improved in their ability to absorb moisture. But as good as they are, there are still precautions that incontinence sufferers should take to protect their skin. As well as the discomfort of irritated skin further impacting on the enjoyment of life, damp warm skin is the ideal breeding ground for bacterial and fungal infections.

We tend to think there’s nothing more sensitive than a baby’s soft skin. But sadly, as we age, our skin becomes thinner and can be more fragile than a baby’s, making it more vulnerable to damage. (Learn more here) And the repair process is also less effective. Unfortunately, the incidence of bladder leakage or incontinence tends to increase with age, so we need to pay as much attention to our own skin as we do to that of our grandchildren. The ammonia and urea from urine can severely damage skin.

It has been found that 42.5% of incontinent patients suffered from incontinence affected skin.2

Effective skin care for incontinence can be as easy as three simple steps.

Everyday incontinence skin care

Firstly, it is recommended that sufferers use a gentle pH balanced cleanser, not soap to keep the area clean and odour free. The J’ADERMA No-Rinse Cleansing Foam has been specifically developed for this purpose. It is a convenient, portable cleanser which is ideal for people ranging in condition from mild to frequent incontinence. The gentle pH formula quickly lifts and removes germs and bacteria, while moisturising the skin – leaving it clean and refreshed. As the name suggests, J’ADERMA No-Rinse Cleansing Foam requires no rinsing, so it can used simply and discreetly away from the home environment.

It is also important to soothe the skin to prevent dryness or cracking and further irritation. The ideal formulation should be paraben free and dermatologically tested. The J’ADERMA Rapid Relief Rash Cream is exactly that. Designed to soothe, protect and rapidly relieve dry, cracked and irritated skin, J’ADERMA Rapid Relief Rash Cream also contains Zinc Oxide, traditionally used to support skin healing, soothe irritated skin and improve the state of wounded skin. The cream can be re-applied to bolster and enhance the effects of the cream for compromised skin. The product is recommended for all family members who are prone to incontinence related issues, from young children to adult patients.
J’ADERMA Rapid Relief Rash Cream can also be used after an incontinence accident.

Prevention is always better than cure, which is why wound care experts recommend another important step – an effective barrier cream to shield the skin from moisture.
Once again, it should be free from parabens, as well as sodium laurel sulphate. A continence care barrier cream should always be fragrance-free, to prevent potential reactions, well absorbed, so it doesn’t clog incontinence pads and dermatologically tested.
Fragrance-free J’ADERMA Fragile Skin Barrier Cream has been specifically balanced and enriched with ingredients that are designed to shield, soothe and protect fragile skin. It also contains Paw Paw, an ingredient traditionally used to soothe and nurture the skin.
J’ADERMA Fragile Skin Barrier Cream should be used to protect the skin before an ‘event’ occurs. Importantly, the cream is quickly absorbed, so it doesn’t comprise the effectiveness of incontinence pads.

You can learn more and buy J’ADERMA products here.

Finally, there are some other ways to help improve the management of bladder issues. Learn more here.

  1. Continence Foundation of Australia:
  2. Junkin, J & Selekof, JL. Prevalence of incontinence and associated skin injury in the acute care inpatient. J Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurs. 2007; 34(3): 260-269.