Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD's)

    Over the last few years there has been an increased focus on Incontinence Associated Dermatitis (IAD) and now, in Australia in particular, awareness has increased with the reporting of IAD's in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program. 

    IAD describes the skin damage associated with exposure to urine or faeces. It can cause considerable discomfort for the care recipient and is time consuming to treat. Poor management of incontinence such as prolonged exposure to urine and faeces to the skin with limited cleansing, non-breathable continence aids, frequent cleansing with soap or aggressive cleansing technique can contribute to IAD. Continence aids leaking due to a poor fit or not enough absorbency are a common cause of IAD as well as poor toileting routines and pad changing frequencies. 

    Studies conducted in Sweden and the UK have found that rates of IAD can affect between 30 - 50% of people with incontinence, Inflammation of the skin in the genital area causes considerable discomfort and can be difficult to treat, so preventive care is important. 

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    Signs of unhealthy skin

    The condition of skin is a good indicator of its overall health. Daily observation of the perineal skin and surrounding areas alerts the caregiver to the early signs of IAD to report to the healthcare professional for immediate treatment. Regular skin observation is the key to catching potential skin issues early to avoid them turning into something worse.

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    Who is at risk?

    Anyone with incontinence, especially those with faecal incontinence, are at risk of developing IAD's. Other risk factors for IAD include: poor skin condition due to ageing, steroid use or diabetes, compromised mobility, decreased cognitive awareness, poor personal hygiene, medications (antibiotics, immunosuppressants), poor nutrition and critical illness. 

    Differentiating between IAD and Pressure Injuries   

    Correct diagnosis of IAD ensures the person receives the right treatment and the quality indicator reporting is accurate. It’s critical that health professionals have received appropriate education and training in assessment and diagnosis of skin issues such as pressure injuries, IAD and skin tears. If the person is not incontinent, it is not IAD. 

    The Ghent Global IAD Categorisation Tool   

    The Ghent Global IAD Categorisation Tool is the assessment tool used to categorise IAD in the National Quality Indicator Program. Registered nurses are trained to identify the categories of IAD and will report to the doctor for further medical orders on treatment.  

    TENA PROskin

    Excess moisture alters the structure of the outermost skin layers and compromises the skin barrier functions which can lead to skin issues. Some lower quality absorbent products used for managing incontinence may increase the risk of IAD by creating a micro climate on the skin surface increasing temperature and humidity.

    TENA PROskin has been designed to maintain healthy skin and minimise the risk of IADs by keeping skin drier. TENA’s absorbent products are proven to minimise moisture exposure and help keep the skin barrier intact. Our FeelDry technology ensures that moisture is drawn away from the skin faster and is then locked away. Additionally, TENA products are breathable, further reducing the risk of any moisture forming on the skin.

    TENA has developed the only skin moisture test that has been validated by South Hampton University in the UK. This test is used to determine the effectiveness of our products to keep the skin dry. Tests consistently demonstrate that TENA PROskin lowers the skin moisture level, helping to prevent IADs, whereas other products raise the moisture level putting the skin at risk. Watch video here >>

    TENA PROskin follows a system of keeping skin Dry, Clean and Protected. This starts with our accredited absorbent products to keep the skin dry, such as TENA PROskin Flex, that can be applied by just one carer in most circumstances, and also enables toileting.  

    Keep It Dry

    Flex incorporates FeelDry technology, a breathable backing and super absorbent technology to ensure skin remains dry. Flex ensures there is no liquid on the surface of the product that could then transfer to the skin. Browse the TENA PROskin Flex range >>

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    Keep It Clean

    TENA PROskin Wash Cream and Wet Wipes are designed to keep the delicate perineal area clean. A good perineal cleansing routine will not only assist in preventing IAD's but also assist in the prevention of UTI’s. An aged care facility in South Australia recently reduced their incidents of UTI’s from 76 per year to just 2 with the use of TENA PROskin Wet Wipes. Our cleansing products are a gentle alternative to soap and water, which can dry out delicate at risk skin, exposing it to external irritants and cause skin excoriation. TENA Mousse applied with TENA soft wipes are ideal for removing faecal matter gently and thoroughly. Browse the TENA Cleansing Wipes and Creams range >>

    Keep It Protected

    TENA PROskin Barrier Cream and Body Lotion help protect the skin against external irritants. Our Barrier Cream goes on clear so that you can still see what is happening with the skin underneath and it is water repellent, further protecting the skin from IAD’s. Our Body Lotion also performs a protective role by helping to prevent skin tears and it can be used all over the body to hydrate. Learn more about TENA Barrier Cream >>

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    Skin Health Accreditation

    At TENA, we take our scientific and clinical research to maintain skin health very seriously, and as such we are proud to say that we are the first continence business to be awarded the Skin Health Alliance accreditation. 

    The Skin Health Alliance provide independent dermatological accreditation of leading brands, giving consumers confidence that products have been independently verified as skin safe.

    This is important for those that wear continence products, as moisture and prolonged water contact with the skin is a leading cause of IAD’s. Read more >>

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    Summary - tips and hints

    Reduce your incidence of IAD's by using TENA PROskin to keep delicate skin dry, clean and protected, managing incontinence and implementing a structured skin care regime.

    • Reduce moisture and friction by reporting wet beds immediately. 
    • Have a process to regularly review pad prescriptions for size, absorbency, change frequency and comfort and remember to review toileting regimes. 
    • Where possible eliminate double padding and added bed protectors. 
    • Gently cleanse, protect and restore the at risk skin using TENA Skin care range
    • Preventing IAD’s requires a dedicated team effort. For further assistance, reach out to your TENA Account Manager for product choice and continence management in your facility.

    Call TENA customer service on 1800 623 347 Australia or 0800 443 068 New Zealand, or if you would like access to TENA tools and training for your facility on prevention of IAD’s, please complete the form below.

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