How to Treat Adult Diaper Rash and Prevent It

Adult diaper rash is an unfortunate but common consequence of wearing incontinence products, such as adult diapers, briefs, or pads. In this post, we'll cover how to treat diaper rash, the proper treatment, and ways to prevent diaper rash.

Developing diaper rash usually presents itself through skin irritation resulting in small reddish/pink patches, but if left untreated, may develop into severe diaper rash to dark red, raised bumps within a larger rash over the affected area.

Diaper rash in adults is painful, irritating, and uncomfortable, but it can be treated and prevented with over-the-counter medications, products and home remedies. If left to progress, however, or if there were other underlying medical conditions, the rash could get more severe and fail to respond to basic remedies. In these cases, it could develop due to infections such as yeast infections, or due to other skin conditions like eczema.

We will be breaking down not only how to treat adult diaper rash, but also how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Causes Behind Adult Diaper Rash

The most common causes of adult diaper rash, as mentioned above, have something to do with the general use of incontinence products. Many adults have to rely on diapers, briefs, and others, such as those who struggle with bowel or bladder control, or even those who work jobs that require them to remain in one place for long periods of time without having access to a bathroom.

So why are rashes common? One reason could be that pads or briefs that are designed with absorbent padding may cause skin inflammation due to contact with the harmful chemicals in urine or stool that had been absorbed by the product.

Also, tight-fitting diapers end up trapping heat, moisture, and bacteria which can result in irritated skin. Additional triggers that could escalate this irritation include friction from the chafing or rubbing of the skin, genetically sensitive skin or even potential allergic reactions to materials in the diapers, such as fragrances or dyes.

Finally, the trapped moisture could also cause bacterial infections and/or a fungal infection over the affected area, most commonly candida albicans (yeast infection) and staphylococcus aureus respectively.

Symptoms of Adult Diaper Rash

There are many symptoms to watch out for in order to recognize an adult diaper rash, although it may look different on each person.

Most likely, however, the rash will appear on the groin, buttock, thighs, genitals, and sometimes even extends up towards the hips. Depending on the symptoms and underlying causes, the rash is also going to range in harshness, from light to moderate, to severe.

With a mild adult diaper rash, the symptoms to look out for are patches that are either pinkish in color, or dryer than usual, or both. There may also be smaller red raised bumps, and this whole area may feel itchy.

If the rash is a little more severe than that, the pink and dry patches of skin would appear a lot larger, and those red raised bumps more numerous and scattered, sometimes forming a connected rash around them. The area would still be itchy, accompanied by tenderness and a higher level of discomfort.

The more severe adult diaper rash cases, usually caused by waiting too long to be treated, will present with even larger patches of dry and raw skin, except they are bright red instead of pink, and appear very inflamed.

The person with the rash would not only feel itchiness, but also burning sensations that make sitting or dressing and undressing very painful. Finally, replacing the red raised bumps would be larger bumps, sometimes even welts or lesions that are filled with fluid and ooze.

In the worst of its cases, during which it is recommended that a doctor is consulted, an adult diaper rash caused by infection could present through all the above symptoms in addition to body aches, fatigue and fever.

Treatment and Prevention of adult diaper rash

Fortunately, there are multiple adult diaper rash treatment options and a plethora of ways to prevent adult diaper rash from occurring. In fact, the most basic remedies for adult diaper rashes are the very thing that prevents the rashes from recurring if the processes are repeated consistently.

Firstly, make sure to wash the area thoroughly and carefully a few times a day with lukewarm water, making sure to use hypoallergenic mild soap to do so. in fact, avoid any potentially irritating cleansers during the cleaning sessions altogether, including hygiene wipes that contain alcohol or perfumes.

After washing off the soaps and cleansers fully, pat the area dry with a towel as opposed to rubbing it, and let the area breathe before putting the incontinence product back on. These instructions not only work to alleviate and eventually treat adult diaper rash, but if repeated daily will prevent them from returning in the future entirely.

If wearing incontinence pads isn't needed throughout the entire day, try to wear them as infrequently as possible. If they are, changing the diapers and briefs at least 5-7 times during the day is necessary for both treatment and prevention.

Otherwise, barrier creams and diaper rash ointment containing zinc oxide or petroleum jelly can be life savers for treating diaper rash. They provide a barrier between the skin and the incontinence product, reducing that friction and alleviating the pain that comes with rubbing.

You can apply these diaper rash ointments and/or creams daily or as many times as you want, which is particularly useful if you do so between every diaper change after thorough cleansing.

Finally, and most critically, preventing adult diaper rash relies heavily on the choice of the products themselves. You must make sure to purchase incontinence products that do not include ingredients that may be causing irritation or allergic reactions.

You should also make sure to choose the best adult diapers or briefs that fit just tightly enough to not allow for leakage, but not too tight that they trap moisture and bacteria in that area. Choosing an adult diaper that wicks moisture and wetness away from the body is imperative, the product needs to be soft so that it does not feel scratchy or irritating against the skin, but also has powerful absorbency.

    Shop Adult Diapers and Incontinence Supplies with WellBefore

    WellBefore offers a range of products from adult diapers, incontinence briefs and pads that come in a range of sizes so you can ensure a proper fit. All our products are moisture-wicking and soft, absorbing leaks (with a large variety of absorbency power) and wetness while keeping the wearer dry.

    If you follow this advice but continue to see skin irritation that lasts longer than three days, or you notice bleeding, serious skin lesions or a fever, it's highly advisable to immediately consult with your doctor or medical health professional.