Skin pH level and incontinence
The urea and ammonia in urine can affect pH balance level of skin (4.5 – 5.5) causing it to become too alkaline (7 or more), exposing it to greater risk to bacterial infection.
Only people living with incontinence can truly understand the pain and discomfort caused by Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD)
Skin function & pH level
Your skin is the body’s largest organ and serves an extremely important role in maintaining a person’s health and well-being. The skin acts as protective barrier to the outside world, while maintaining fluid levels inside the body and regulating temperature.
The outer layer of the skin forms a slightly acidic protection layer known as the “acid mantle” with a pH value of approximately 5.5. This will protect skin from bacterial growth, infection and skin conditions. If the acid mantle becomes disrupted, the skin will be more prone to infection and damage.
Prevention: Continence Pads
The top layer of continence pads is very important because it contacts the skin’s surface. It should be designed to maintain a skin pH value of 5.5 to ensure alkaline influences like sweat, detergents and urine do not damage the natural acid mantle of the skin. By ensuring the top layer of the pad complements the skin at pH 5.5, it is also possible to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of infections.
Watch the video below of Phil who gives us 11 of his best tips for a healthier bladder
By Phil Wilkinson
Urology and Continence Nurse
Independence Australia stocks a range of bladder products.
The regularly cleansing and washing of areas affected by incontinence can severely damage the barrier and protective function of the skin. Alkaline soaps and detergents raise the pH of the skin which damages the acid mantle, and often wash off important epidermal fats which support the barrier function and elasticity of the skin, leaving it dry and susceptible to infections.
It is very important to choose a cleanser that is specifically designed for elderly and sensitive skin. Cleansing products must ensure proper cleansing without causing dryness or irritation to the skin while being neutral to the skin at pH 5.5, so be sure to check the pH level of your soap.
This article is sponsored by Independence Australia, a social enterprise that provides choices for people living with a disability or other personal need, enabling them to regain and retain their independence within a supportive community.
If you would like to support the valuable work we do, you can help us to provide choice for people living with a disability or other personal need by Shopping online with us or Making a donation.
More health advice
View our wide range of health advice, tips and recommendations by visiting our health articles or checking out our top health articles below.
Staying free from Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are a relatively common but unpleasant problem which affects the bladder and/or kidneys. Symptoms may include; changes in bladder habits, burning pain with urination.etc
Common Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Problems
Early prostate cancer doesn’t usually cause urinary symptoms. The only way to identify is by digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. I suggest that you speak to your doctor about this.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you’re a woman with poor bladder or bowel control – and perhaps you’ve had this problem for some years – the time has never been better to do something about it.