Different skin ointments and how do I use them?
If you are seeking incontinence products for either an adult or child, you will come across many different skin aids in the forms of ointments, wipes, and powders. These products are invaluable to keeping the skin healthy and to prevent breakdown, ulcers, and sores. Not all skin aids are alike, though, so here is an explanation of what the different ones do and when you might need them.
For infants or children, you probably already use a cream of some sorts on his delicate skin. These products usually consist of one or several ingredients like lanolin (moisturizer), petrolatum (moisture barrier), dimethicone (emollient that traps water in the skin keeping it hydrated), and zinc oxide (ointment) in various amounts. These are usually your standard diaper area creams and work well for the general public. They can be used by both children and adults.
As an adult who suffers incontinence or who is bed-bound, your needs may be greater as an adult creates more urine or fecal output than a child and has a greater skin area that can be affected. Products for adults will also include petrolatum, zinc oxide, and some have antifungal properties. These ingredients may come at a higher percentage than in a child’s product and generally are thicker, and creamier, in order to provide a thicker layer of protection.
Ointments can also be made at home by combining 2-3 of the listed ingredients to make your best treatment but you will want to run this by your doctor or pharmacist first so your ingredients are safe to mix and the percentages of ingredients aren’t so high to cause irritation or worse. This practice is fairly common and by mixing the ingredients, they might work better than layering them. If you do not already have skin breakdown, using a barrier cream of some type daily can help prevent issues as the more advanced skin creams can be costly.
Visit our Wipes and Skin Aids page for all of our products. There are other skin aids used for other purposes such as ostomies and wound care and we have created a separate article discussing them here.