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Ask The Doc: Which barrier creams will protect my Skin without damaging My absorbent product?

QUESTION:
I’VE BEEN IN ADULT TAPED BRIEFS FOR A WHILE NOW. I HAVE TO USE A BARRIER CREAM TO KEEP RASHES AWAY, BUT SOMETIMES I FIND THAT THE CREAM DISSOLVES THE ELASTIC IN THE DIAPER. THE END RESULT? LEAKS. BABY OIL DOES THE SAME THING, TOO. WHICH CREAMS WORK WITH WHICH ADULT BRIEFS?

ANSWER

The first thing we should do is look to see if we can understand the root cause of the rashes you’re trying to keep away. Why are they there in the first place? Is it due to the quality and type of brief you’re wearing? Remember: Not all briefs are created equal – some of them can be very absorbent, pulling the liquid away and keeping the skin dry. This significantly reduces the need for barrier creams, because there’s no longer any excess liquid to protect against.

As far as the creams go, they’re not all created equal, either. The zinc oxide concentration and other active ingredients can range in concentration, and that could contribute to the way they interact with your briefs.

My recommendation? Start by focusing on your briefs. The market today is filled with dozens of different options – varying sizes, styles, absorbency and more – and there’s a real chance that there’s a better product just waiting for you to discover it.

Once you’re confident that you’ve found the right product for you, it’s time to look more closely at barrier creams. Some patients discover that once they have a properly fitting and functioning tapered brief, they no longer need a barrier cream at all – just a simple moisturizing cream designed specifically for incontinent individuals.

But if it turns out that you still do need a barrier cream, don’t get discouraged if the first one (or two, or three) that you try don’t do the trick. With all the variety out there, you’ll quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.

The NAFC Ask The Doc series provides answers to some of our reader’s most common questions from a group of experts in the fields of urology, pelvic floor health, bowel health, and absorbent products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Click here to Ask The Doc!

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