How to Maintain your Intimate Skin Health when you Have Incontinence

For those with incontinence , good skin care plays an essential role in feeling comfortable and confident. As the skin acts like a physical barrier to protect against the outside environment, keeping this organ healthy is crucial. From redness and irritation to soreness, incontinence can cause discomfort to the especially fragile ‘intimate skin’. Frequent episodes of incontinence can affect the health of this protective barrier, putting it at higher risk of infection. However, with good continence management, you can keep your skin feeling fresh and clean so you can go on living your life.

Stay Hydrated

If you experience episodes of incontinence, it may seem counterintuitive to drink lots of fluids. Whether you’re worried about an unexpected leak during the workday or wetness at night, staying hydrated is actually crucial for those with weaker bladders. Your body uses water to flush out excess bacteria and acids, keeping urine from becoming concentrated. Your body is made up of fluids, so if these fluids don’t get replenished, the result can be dehydration. Dehydration causes the urine to become extremely concentrated, which then results in irritation in the form of pain or burning during urination. An irritated bladder also causes urgency, which for those who experience incontinence, is quite a troublesome sensation. Along with urgency, concentrated urine can produce a strong, unpleasant odor. Lastly, it’s important to fully empty your bladder when you go, as this helps to flush out your system, reducing the frequency of trips to the restroom.

Balanced Nutrition is Key

A healthy pH balance (which is the level of acidity) is crucial when it comes to your bladder health. Tipping your internal scale back in balance can help to reduce irritation caused by concentrated urine. By simply changing up your diet to include alkaline foods (which are foods that have a low level of acidity), you provide your body with wonderful goodness like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Alkaline rich foods help neutralize acids in your body, cleanse the kidneys and urinary system, in addition to strengthening the immune system, increasing energy levels and helping to provide a deeper, more restful sleep. A diet rich in these foods can also help improve digestion and arthritis related pain, reduce yeast buildup, increase mental alertness and contribute to more youthful skin:

  • Vegetables

    Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Lettuce, Onions, Peas, Red Pepper, Spinach, Avocado

  • Fruits

    Apple, Banana, Berries, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Melon, Lemon, Orange, Pear, Watermelon

  • Protein

    Almonds, Chestnuts, Tofu

  • Spices

    Cinnamon, Curry, Ginger, Mustard, Sea Salt

Take Proper Care

Your body is a temple and therefore it should be treated like one. By committing to a balanced diet and avoiding acidic foods, you’ll be doing your whole body a favor. But to increase the comfort for your intimate skin and to ensure better hygiene, follow these tips to help improve confidence and quality of life:

  • Cleansers
    • Cleansers are great alternatives to soap and water, as they are designed to maintain a healthy pH balance, without drying out the skin. Cleansers come in a variety of forms, like pump sprays, foams, and pre-moistened wipes. Good cleansers avoid harsh ingredients like detergents, fragrances or alcohol.

    • Soft disposable wipes are a good alternative to washing and towel drying, as they are gentler on sensitive skin.

  • Moisturizers
    • We know the importance of keeping skin moisturized when it comes to incontinence. Supple skin can be your first line of defense when it comes to damage and infection, so using continence lotions and creams are a non-irritating way to preserve your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

  • Absorbent incontinence aids
    • From underwear to pads to liners , these continence products aim to stop and absorb leaks when they happen, while maintaining a healthy skin pH level.

    • Fit is crucial, in order to contain leakage. You also don’t want the product to rub or chafe the skin, which is especially sensitive in that area.

    • Try pairing these products with looser fitting clothing in order to improve air circulation and reduce perspiration on the skin exposed to leakage.

Helpful Resources

Incontinence and Fitness

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