Skincare and skin health

    Our skin becomes vulnerable with age. This means that the skin of elderly individuals is more prone to skin problems and that the need for proper skincare increases. We can help you maintain a care routine that promotes healthy skin.

    Fragile, elderly skin deserves special care

    The skin is a vital organ that serves to protect us from injury and infection. Thus, it is very important to understand several risk factors in order to maintain healthy skin.


    The skin of elderly residents is at particular risk because aging skin:

    • Heals slowly and is prone to friction and shearing

    • Can be susceptible to degradation, causing irritation, itching, infection, or pain

    • Is sensitive to excessive moisture and prolonged contact with urine and feces

    Soap and water

    Frequent cleansing with soap and water can also disrupt the skin’s integrity, reducing its ability to prevent infection. Soaps contain cleansing ingredients called surfactants that can cause irritation if left on the skin, even after rinsing.


    The skin of individuals who have incontinence is vulnerable to a variety of threats, including incontinence-associated dermatitis and pressure ulcers.

    • Incontinence-associated dermatitis has been estimated to occur in 7% to 11% of incontinent nursing home residents [1]

    • Urinary incontinence increases the incidence of pressure ulcers more than five times [2,3]

    • Fecal incontinence increases the incidence of pressure ulcers more than 20 times [1,2]

    • Furthermore, the breakdown of skin arising from incontinence can have a considerable impact on an individual’s physical and psychological well-being. [5]

    Prevention is key

    With care and management, many of these issues can be prevented or minimized. For example, the incidence of pressure ulcers, which are very expensive to manage, can be reduced by as much as 50% by following proper care routines. [6−8]

    A good hygiene routine, especially designed for fragile elderly skin, can help prevent skin irritation and infection. When following each episode of incontinence, an optimal routine helps to prevent the occurrence of incontinence-associated dermatitis; it should include gentle cleansing, application of a moisturizer and the use of a skin barrier or protectant if necessary. [5]

    In addition to clinical benefits, a good hygiene routine can help residents feel comfortable, refreshed and healthy, as well as support their self-esteem, independence and overall quality of life.


    1Bliss DZ et al. (2006). Prevalence and correlates of perineal dermatitis in nursing home residents. Nurs Rev, 55, 243−251.
    2Department of Health (DOH) (2000). London. 
    3Le Lièvre S. (2001). Br J Community Nurse, 6(4), 180−185.
    5Bardsley A. (2013). Prevention and management of incontinence-associated dermatitis. Nursing Standard, 27(44), 41−46.
    6Gunningberg L, (2004). Risk, prevalence and prevention of pressure ulcers in three Swedish health-care settings, Journal of Wound Care, 13(7), 286−290. 
    7Cole L, (2014). A three-year multiphase pressure ulcer prevalence/incidence study in a regional referral hospital, Ostomy Wound Management, 60(5), 16−26.
    8Lyder CH et al. (2002). A comprehensive program to prevent pressure ulcers in long-term care:exploring costs and outcomes. Ostomy Wound Management, 48, 52−62.