5 Tips for Preventing Diaper Rash in Adults

Diaper Rash


Diaper rash is nearly as common in adults as it is in babies. And just like in children, most cases of adult diaper rash tend to go away independently. However, the irritation can cause unbearable discomfort while it lasts. That’s especially true for people with sensitive skin. 

Fortunately, there are many amazing ways to keep adult diaper rash at bay. And as you shall find, most of these tips are common knowledge. But first, let’s begin by understanding what adult diaper rash is, including its primary causes and symptoms.

What Is Adult Diaper Rash?

Adult diaper rash refers to dermatitis (skin irritation) associated with prolonged usage of adult diapers (also known as adult nappies or incontinence briefs). The rash typically resembles patches of inflamed skin on the bottom or genital area. 

As already indicated, adult diaper rash usually resolves itself. The duration and severity of the condition depend on several factors, such as skin sensitivity and the duration of exposure to wet diapers.

What Causes Adult Diaper Rash?

Most adult diaper rash results from wet or infrequently changed nappies. Prolonged contact with certain compounds in urine or stool, such as ammonia, may irritate the skin. 

Skin sensitivity also accounts for a significant number of adult diaper rash. It’s worse if the adult nappy wearer doesn’t change their briefs often enough. Examples of skin conditions that may cause or aggravate adult diaper rash include seborrheic and atopic dermatitis. The following are other common causes of adult diaper rash:

  • Chafing or rubbing, commonly caused by wearing tight-fitting diapers
  • Bacterial or fungal infection on the affected area, usually due to the warm and moist conditions
  • Reaction to specific products, such as wipes, laundry detergents, and fabric softeners
  • Reaction to certain foods, which alter the content of urine or stool.

What Are The Symptoms Of Adult Diaper Rash?

The symptoms of adult diaper rash mainly depend on the trigger factors. But most rashes will present the following signs:

  • Skin inflammation
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin dryness
  • Irritation in the affected area
  • Burning sensation
  • Skin lesions

5 Tips to Prevent Diaper Rash in Adults

1. Use Super Absorbent Diapers

Using high-absorbent nappies is arguably the most effective tip for preventing adult diaper rash. 

It may be challenging to determine the absorbency of adult diapers before actually purchasing the products and trying them on. So, the best way to ensure you’re buying super absorbent diapers is by ordering from established companies. 

Also, insist on absorbent underwear as opposed to disposable underpads. Initially, disposable underpads were thought to be easier on the skin due to their breath ability. However, these products do not hold urine and stool as effectively as absorbent diapers. Besides, you can find absorbent underwear that is remarkably breathable too. 

2. Wear the Right Diaper Size

Size is an important consideration when shopping for adult nappies. It also happens to be a significant factor in preventing adult diaper rash. Loose nappies are less effective at containing urine. Wearing such diapers allows urine to leak through the spaces between your legs. 

But when it comes to preventing adult diaper rash, the tight-fitting nappies should worry you the most. Tight diapers encourage chafing or rubbing. This increases the friction around your genital area, further predisposing your skin to diaper rash.  

3. Change Your Diapers Regularly

This may sound like a no-brainer. But you’ll be surprised to discover how many adults do not change their wet nappies often enough. Wearing incontinence briefs for long increases wetness in the adjacent area. It’s a fact that many diapers do not contain chemicals that may trigger immediate reactions in the skin. However, the resultant moistness can encourage bacterial and fungal growth, causing a rash. 

The frequency with which you should change your adult diapers mainly comes down to the severity of your condition. It also depends on the absorbency of the products.

4. Rinse Your Bottom After Changing a Diaper

Changing adult diapers regularly isn’t enough. It’s also prudent to rinse your bottom every time you do so. This helps eliminate any bacteria and fungi from the genital area. The best way to rinse your bottom is by using warm water. The water should be hot enough to kill microorganisms and cold enough to avoid scalding your skin. 

After rinsing with warm water, wipe your bottom using adult wipes or other sanitary materials. Avoid alcohol-based or fragranced wipes as these may contain potentially harmful chemicals. Lastly, pat dry the area or let it dry in the air for a few minutes before wearing a fresh nappy.  

5. Only Wear Diapers When You Must

Adult diapers may be effective at dealing with incontinence issues. But that doesn’t mean you should wear these nappies all the time. Consider going for periods without a diaper. For instance, you wouldn’t need to wear a diaper if you have mild urinary incontinence and are not planning to venture indoors. That’s especially true when you have unhindered access to the bathroom. 

When you go without adult nappies, it’s also important to wear breathable clothing. Exposing your skin to air can help keep it dry and minimize the risks of diaper rash.

Wrap Up

Adult nappies are a necessary purchase for people with incontinence problems. However, these products can cause a severe skin rash if misused. Fortunately, several ways exist to prevent and even treat adult diaper rash.

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