Adult diaper rash can be a tricky situation to deal with. Adults do not want to mention that they are having problems. It is embarrassing to them to have a problem that requires them to wear diapers or any other kind of protection. It can embarrassing to tell others about it. Although adult diaper rash is a small problem at the beginning, it has the potential to become a big problem.
But adult diaper rash should just be accepted as something that will happen to us in the later years of our lifes. With the advances in our medical sciences, modern medicine is enabling our elderly to live longer fuller lives. However, as people grow older, the muscles are still not as tight as they once were and leakage can occur.
Adult diaper rash happens for the same reasons that baby diaper rash does. Diaper rash is a form of dermatitis called irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin reacts to a chemical or physical irritant. In this case, urine, heat and rubbing of the diaper can cause the problem. The skin can also be reacting to any lotions, soaps, or wipes that are being used for cleaning.
The skin will be reddened or inflamed under the areas where the diaper covers it. The skin may turn scaly. The areas affected may be all over, or confined to the creases in the legs or groin, and the area around the anus. If it becomes bad, it may start to blister and spots may make an appearance.
Change the diapers as soon as possible. Pay attention to how the urine is being sucked away from the skin if using disposable garments. Cloth diapers may need changed more often, as they do not wick the moisture away like the disposable. Change immediately when bowel movements occur. Make sure to clean all areas thoroughly. Try to minimize the use of plastic pant coverings. These may hold in more moisture, but they also hold in heat which will aggravate the problem.
Eliminate milk proteins from the diet, substituting soy and milk alternatives. Avoid spicy foods, and stay away from any that might cause an allergic reaction. There may be foods that just exasperate the rash problem, so be on the lookout for this.
Use a lotion or cream with zinc oxide or calendula in it on the infected areas to protect the skin. Use the lotion or cream each time the diaper is changed.
Use only wipes and cloths that are unscented. When cleaning the areas, use mild soaps, being careful to not rub at the affected areas. When drying, use a soft cloth and pat dry. Pay attention to the products being used. The rash may be aggravated by certain brands of wipes, brands of diapers, certain soaps or lotions, or even the brand of detergent that cloth diapers are washed in.
As much as practical, let the affected area be exposed to air. If you can put cotton underwear on the adult for a few minutes after a change of diaper, try that. If practical, try no underwear for just a couple minutes to make the changes of garments a little easier.
Diaper rash in adults does not need to be a big problem. If you are in a situation where it might occur, talk about with the adults around you before hand. Talking about it before adult diaper rash happens will make it easier to talk when it happens. Just handle the problem as the common occurrence it is.