Skin Issues Around the Stoma

Skin issues around the stoma are usually experienced at some point in those living with an ostomy. This area around the stoma is referred to as peristomal skin. Taking good care of this skin is a crucial element in maintaining a comfortable lifestyle after ostomy surgery.

Skin irritation around the stoma is common, but it doesn’t have to be a normal part of life with an ostomy. Signs of redness, damage, irritation, and rashes are alerts for concern. Unhealthy skin around the stoma can cause pain, leakage, and negative quality of life.

We will address common skin issues around the stoma, some suggestions on preventing them, and a technique that can help treat many of them.  With proper treatment and care, most skin issues around the stoma can be solved before developing into a more severe problem.

Common Skin Issues Around the Stoma

Irritant Dermatitis

Irritant dermatitis happens when something is irritating the skin around your stoma. This irritation could be a result of stoma pastes, barrier sprays, urine, or stool. The area may look red, wet, weepy, or even bleed.  Make sure to change your pouch routinely and consider an extended-wear skin barrier or a convex skin barrier if you have skin folds or creases. Moldable Technology by ConvaTec can help give you a better seal.

Mechanical Irritation

Mechanical irritation is caused by aggressively wiping or washing the skin around the stoma or forcefully removing the skin barrier. The skin around the stoma will look red and weepy. It is essential to be gentle when washing around this area and be careful when peeling the skin barrier off.

Folliculitis

Tiny red bumps around the stoma that can also be painful are called folliculitis. More common in men due to hair growth on the abdomen, folliculitis is caused by the hair underneath the skin barrier becoming irritated. The hairs are repeatedly removed during each skin barrier change, and the hair follicles are irritated. Think of continually waxing the same area of skin over and over. It is bound to become red and hurt. Incorrectly shaving the hair around your stoma can also cause folliculitis. Using an electric razor or scissors to trim the hair may be helpful, and remember to be gentle when you peel back the skin barrier for removal.

Contact Dermatitis

When the outer layer of the skin has been damaged or cut, contact dermatitis can occur around the stoma. Ostomy skin barriers can rub the skin the wrong way and cause a red rash to form. You should speak to your physician if you suspect you have contact dermatitis. They may prescribe a special cream or ostomy powder to use.

Allergic Dermatitis

Like contact dermatitis, allergic dermatitis occurs when a red rash forms because of an allergic reaction to any pastes, sprays, skin barriers, or even the pouch material you are using. The body is releasing inflammatory chemicals, which makes the skin feel itchy and irritated. Contact your physician to find out if you need to change the products you are using.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infection around the stoma appears like a rash, but features raised round red areas. The skin around the stoma will burn and itch and fungal infections are known to spread outside the stoma area. Because fungal infections thrive and multiply in dark and moist places, make sure to dry the skin around the stoma entirely before applying a new skin barrier and pouch. Your physician may suggest an anti-fungal stoma powder.

Those who have been taking antibiotics for more than a week or have anemia, diabetes, or a lowered immune system may be more prone to fungal infections.

Using the Crusting Technique to Treat Skin Issues Around the Stoma

peristomal skin care productsFor most common skin issues around the stoma, using the crusting technique can help provide a seal while the skin is irritated.

The five steps to this technique are:

  1. Use warm water to cleanse any residue from stoma paste around the surrounding area of the stoma and pat dry. You can also use Brava Adhesive Remover Spray or wipes to clean off the skin gently.
  2. Sprinkle stoma powder such as the Hollister Adapt Stoma Powder onto the irritated stoma skin and dust off any excess to prevent clumping. This stoma powder is designed to alleviate irritation, so you may be able to cease use once the skin issue around the stoma has resolved.
  3. To seal the powder onto the skin, use a skin barrier spray such as Brava Skin Barrier Spray. This spray is non-alcoholic so that it won’t sting or burn the area. Spray the barrier spray over the stoma powder, dab with a skin prep wipe, and fan to dry. The barrier spray will turn clear when set and form a crust on the skin that acts as a layer of protection.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for additional layers of protection and allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next layer. Two to three layers should be sufficient.
  5. You are now ready to apply your ostomy pouching system as usual. Your physician may suggest an anti-fungal stoma powder if you develop a rash or itch that does not improve. This condition could be a sign of a yeast infection.

Skin Care Tips for Skin Issues Around the Stoma

Sometimes problems develop despite the effort made to keep peristomal skin clean and healthy. Staying educated about this area can help you learn about what to look out for and how to manage problems that may arise with peristomal skin.

Hollister Inc. has put together a convenient Peristomal Skin Care Tips brochure that outlines what the skin around the stoma should look like and suggestions to take.

Common Questions for Treating Skin Issues Around the Stoma

When should I use stoma powder under my skin barrier?

If the skin around the stoma is irritated, red, painful, or there is a rash present, you may want to use a stoma powder for treating the affected skin. Ensure you speak to your physician first to ensure you are using the correct stoma powder under their direction.

What kind of powder should I use if my skin has a red, raised, pimply rash?

zeasorb antifungal body powderRed, raised, pimply rash symptoms are good indicators that you may have a yeast infection. Choosing an anti-fungal stoma powder that contains 2% Miconazole, such as Zeasorb Antifungal Powder, should be able to address this condition. Check with your physician first to confirm that this is the proper course of action.

How do I use stoma powder?

Stoma powder is very easy and quick to apply in just a few steps.

  1. Start by washing your hands with soap and water.
  2. Clean the skin around your stoma with either wipes or warm soapy water and pat dry.
  3. Sprinkle the stoma powder all around the peristomal skin and brush off any excess with your fingertips.
  4. Use an alcohol-free skin prep and dab the powder to set for approximately 10-15 seconds until completely dry.
  5. Continue with your usual ostomy pouch change process.

Stoma powder is not helping my skin irritation. What do I do?

ConvaTec Sure-fit Natura moldable barrierTry removing the adhesive and check the backside. Feces or urine may have leaked and caused irritation between the skin barrier and the peristomal skin. Ensuring that there is a nice and secure fit of your skin barrier is one of the most critical steps to maintain healthy skin around the stoma. Moldable Technology by ConvaTec might be a helpful solution.

Could I be allergic to the adhesives used in my ostomy pouching system?

You may be allergic to the components used in your pouching system or the supporting products such as sprays, wipes, or pastes. Try washing your peristomal skin with just warm, soapy water for a period and see if the symptoms subside. If the symptoms go away, certain ingredients in the supporting products you are using are causing the allergic reaction. Consult with your physician about your symptoms, and they may be able to recommend alternative products.

Giving Your Peristomal Skin a Break Between Ostomy Appliance Changes

Sometimes giving your peristomal skin a break between ostomy appliance changes can help maintain healthy skin. After removing your skin barrier and ostomy pouch, try leaving your skin uncovered for 30 minutes or so. Make sure to have a towel or container nearby to catch any leaks that may occur. Taking a skin break can help with skin issues around the stoma or keep it from happening.

We carry a wide variety of ostomy products and supplies at Personally Delivered for all types and sizes of stomas. Suppose you need assistance choosing what ostomy products are right for you or finding ostomy supplies that your physician has recommended. In that case, our Product Experts are here to help guide you through the purchasing process. Just give us a call, and we will make it easy for you.

Popular Ostomy Products & Supplies

AllKare Adhesive Remover Wipes

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Nu-Hope Adhesive

M9 Odor Eliminator Spray

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Coloplast SenSura Mio Click Convex Barrier

Coloplast SenSura Mio barrier
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Arthritis with an Ostomy: Tips to Help Manage

Living with an ostomy already has its challenges. However, suffering from arthritis with an ostomy can increase the difficulty of specific tasks such as opening tubes of stoma paste, stiffness when bending over to empty the ostomy appliance, or using scissors for a cut-to-fit ostomy barrier. Having arthritis with an ostomy doesn’t have to mean a total loss of independence. Take a look at some helpful tips for managing these conditions below.

Types of Arthritis & Other Conditions That May Affect Hand Dexterity

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects a person’s immune system and attacks their tissues. The feeling often experienced is a burning pain accompanied by swelling and sometimes stiffness in the joints, particularly in the hands, shoulders, knees, and feet.  Many also report feeling fatigued throughout the day.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. Due to the cells’ changes as we age, osteoarthritis develops between the ages of 45-90 years. The cartilage in the fingers and weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips, back, and feet are affected. Pain, stiff joints, and swelling are also a symptom of osteoarthritis.

Fibromyalgia

While fibromyalgia is not a type of arthritis, it can co-occur with other types of arthritis. Fibromyalgia is a type of chronic pain syndrome that can cause immense fatigue and pain in muscles, joints, and other soft tissues. It has no known cause or cure at this time. However, research indicates it may be related to genetics (family history), having coexisting conditions such as arthritis or lupus, going through prolonged stress or trauma, or having a viral illness. The pain from fibromyalgia can range from mild to severe and include stiffness, burning, throbbing, or stabbing sensations in the muscles. Fatigue, depression, anxiety, numbness, tingling, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and cystitis have been reported.

Gout

Gout occurs when uric acid crystals are deposited in the joints and cause inflammation. The body breaks down proteins, which then form this uric acid. Gout usually affects one joint at a time, especially in the big toes. The ankles, knees, hands, wrists, and elbows are other joints that can be affected.  Common symptoms of gout include pain, warmth, redness, and swelling. Most gout onsets occur quickly and can remain for up to a week if left untreated. Excess alcohol consumption, being overweight, water pills, surgery, or sudden illness are just some of the things that can trigger and aggravate gout.

Reiter’s Syndrome

Reiter’s Syndrome is a type of arthritis that occurs as a reaction to an infection somewhere else in the body. It may be related to intestinal infections such as Salmonella or urinary tract infections. Reiter’s Syndrome’s symptoms can include inflammation of the joints, tendons, eyes, urinary tract, or skin and may involve a rash or fever.

Scleroderma

Scleroderma involves a thickening of the skin on the fingers, arms, and sometimes the face. There are often color changes in the hands from pale blue to red, small calcium deposits that form nodules on the fingertips, and stiffness in the joints with these indicators. Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation can also be other symptoms.

Enteropathic Arthritis

Enteropathic arthritis often accompanies inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Painful, hot, and stiff joints are common symptoms of enteropathic arthritis, and when the gastrointestinal disease goes into remission, the arthritic symptoms go along with it.

Tips if You Have Arthritis with an Ostomy

Arthritis in the Hands

hollister new image two-piece ostomy pouch with integrated closureOpening packets of an ostomy product such as stoma paste, peeling off backing papers, and cutting holes in skin barriers can be challenging for those with arthritis in their hands. Many manufacturers have noticed this problem that those with arthritis and an ostomy face and have made some adjustments to their packaging.

ConvaTec has Moldable Technology that eliminates the need for scissors to customize the hole around the stoma. There is a helpful and informative article at the end of this blog that goes into detail about ConvaTec Moldable Technology. ConvaTec also offers many pre-cut barrier options, such as the ConvaTec Esteem + One-Piece Pre-Cut Closed-End Pouch, which can help.

arthritis compression gloves for those with arthritis with an ostomyMany drainable ostomy bags feature integrated closures instead of clips. The Hollister New Image Pouch has an easy Lock N Roll Microseal closure that is excellent for those with dexterity problems.

Tubes of ostomy paste, such as the Hollister Adapt Paste, come in a soft tube that you can use a credit card or paste dispenser to glide the formula out easily.

Having a pair of arthritis compression gloves can also be very helpful. Not only will they help keep a better grip on items, but these gloves may also help increase circulation and reduce pain.

Arthritis in the Neck and Back

adjustable mirror to aid in changing an ostomy applianceArthritis in the neck and back can cause stiffness, and bending over to view the stoma when changing your appliance may be difficult. A suggestion to help make this a bit easier may be to sit down and lean back somewhere comfortable with a desk or table in front or beside you. Place a mirror on the table and face it down toward your ostomy appliance. A mirror that easily adjusts to all angles would work best.

Stiffness Getting On and Off the Toilet

Railings can be installed around the toilet to help stabilize yourself when emptying your ostomy bag. Another option that might be helpful when getting on and off the toilet and entering and exiting the bathtub is a transfer bench. This adaptive equipment piece works as an added safety feature to allow those with arthritis with an ostomy to take their time when sitting and rising to stand up.

Using Adaptive Equipment and Experiencing Leaks

If you are using a wheelchair or a walker, these types of adaptive equipment require the use of both hands. A leaking ostomy appliance while using one of these kinds of devices requires at least one hand to minimize the leakage. Preparing emergency supplies in a bag attached to the wheelchair or walker can be a possible solution to this problem. Having emergency ostomy supplies around the home can also alleviate some stress knowing that your needed supplies are nearby.

There are many other aids for those who have arthritis with an ostomy and can be found at your local pharmacy. Items such as easy-open pill bottles, grippers to unscrew lids, push-button pill reminder boxes, and more can be beneficial aids. You can reach out to a local occupational therapist or your local hospital for more information about where to find products made to help those with arthritis accomplish tasks more manageable.

Maintaining independence is essential to self-esteem, but remember to ask for help when you need it. The last thing you need when suffering from arthritis with an ostomy is having an accident that can potentially worsen your condition.

For even more information about arthritis, ease of use products, treatments, hundreds of articles, and even a drug guide, visit the Arthritis Foundation. You can even click to find your local area and connect.

For any inquiries about ostomy appliances, adaptive equipment, or any other home delivery medical supplies we carry at Personally Delivered, our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to help.

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Cancer Screenings: Your Essential Guide

Cancer screenings can help detect cancer in the early stages or before you begin to have symptoms. By detecting cancer early, you may give yourself a better chance of surviving and thriving. Keeping up with preventive screenings that your doctor recommends is key to catching potential issues such as breast, cervical, prostate, endometrial, and colorectal cancer before they turn into something worse.

Who determines when to get screened?

Created in 1984, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The Task Force works to improve all Americans’ health by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Task Force members come from a wide array of medical-related fields. That history of experience can be from primary care, internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics and gynecology, and nursing. This team rigorously reviews existing peer-reviewed evidence to make recommendations for screenings. This process can help primary care clinicians and patients decide whether a preventive service is right for a patient’s needs.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

The following cancer screening guidelines are for people who have an average risk for cancer. If you have an increased risk due to your family history, you may need screenings earlier or more often. It would be best to speak to your doctor to see what’s right for you.

Breast Cancer Screenings

two women holding pink ribbons showing their support of breast cancer screeningsYearly mammograms are the best way to detect breast cancer’s early stages when it is easier to treat. The USPSTF recommends women to get mammograms at the following ages:

Ages 45 to 54: once every year

Ages 55 and older: once every other year

It is important to note that women with a heightened breast cancer risk should ask their doctors about the risks and benefits of an annual MRI and mammogram.

Cervical Cancer Screenings

The Pap test can find abnormal cells in the cervix, which may turn into cancer. The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the virus that can cause these cell changes. The chance of being cured is very high when the Pap tests find cervical cancer early.

The USPSTF recommends women to get a Pap test at the following ages:

Ages 21 to 29: once every three years

Ages 30 to 65:

  • once every three years
  • an HPV test once every five years
  • or a Pap test and an HPV test once every five years

Women older than 65: Those with normal screenings and who do not have a high risk for cervical cancer may not need screening.

Colorectal Cancer Screenings

doctor in a lab testing cancer screening samplesThe American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends people with an average risk for colorectal cancer start regular cancer screenings at age 45. Simultaneously, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises beginning screening at age 50. Those with an increased risk for colorectal cancer due to family history may need to get cancer screenings at an earlier age.

Discuss with your doctor which of the following tests are recommended by the USPSTF:

Endometrial Cancer Screenings

anatomy of the female uterus when detecting endometrial cancer in cancer screeningsEndometrial cancer forms in the lining of the uterus. By early detection and surgical removal of the uterus, endometrial cancer is often cured. After reaching menopause, women who have abnormal bleeding or spotting should tell their doctors. Your doctor may order cancer screenings to help detect endometrial cancer.

Prostate Cancer Screenings

When men reach the ages of 55 to 69, the USPSTF recommends discussing the potential benefits and risks of prostate cancer screenings with their physicians to help make informed decisions. After the age of 70, the USPSTF advises against men getting screened.

At Personally Delivered, we hope your lifelong health journey never includes a cancer diagnosis. Whatever your age or medical history, maintaining an open and close relationship with your physician will help keep track of your long-term health.

Many of these types of cancers may require the use of catheters, incontinence products, and skin care needs. These may be a temporary need or one that is long-term. We carry a wide array of these home delivery medical supplies and can help you find the ones your doctor recommends that are right for you. Our friendly, knowledgeable, and compassionate Product Experts will help make your purchasing selection as easy as possible.

All recommendations for cancer screenings and more detailed information from the USPSTF can be found directly on their site.

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Crohn’s Disease: 10 Essentials to Keep in Your Medicine Cabinet

Crohn’s disease is a chronic digestive disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract (GI). According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), it causes inflammation and damage in the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions called inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

There’s currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, but various treatments can help manage its symptoms. If you have Crohn’s disease, it’s also a good idea to keep several over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and supplies on hand in case of an emergency.

The 10 Essentials to Help Manage Crohn's Disease

We suggest keeping these ten essential non-prescription supplies at home to ease your symptoms and lessen the effects of a flare-up from Crohn’s disease.

1. Antidiarrheal medications

A common symptom of IBD is diarrhea, and it can become worse during a flare. Antidiarrheal medications may be able to help. There are many choices at your local pharmacy that do not require a prescription. Those may include:

  • Pepto-Bismol
  • Kaopectate
  • Imodium-ID

It is always important to speak to your doctor before taking any new OTC medication or supplement and thoroughly read and follow the dosing directions.

2. Pain relievers

GeriCare liquid pain reliefThose with Crohn’s disease often experience stomach pain as a flare symptom. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help control inflammation associated with IBD. Research has linked NSAIDs to increased relapses, flares, and overall disease activity.

A better option might be using acetaminophens such as Tylenol or Geri-Care Liquid Pain Relief. These options will not help with inflammation but will reduce fever and pain. As always, talk to your doctor about the right pain reliever for you.

3. Ointment for skin irritation

Balmex Diaper Rash OintmentCrohn’s flares can irritate the skin around the anus. Using a skin protectant, such as Balmex Diaper Rash Treatment, can protect against wetness and irritants, helping prevent diaper rash from getting worse.

4. Personal care wipes

You may experience perineal complications with Crohn’s disease, such as a fistula or abscess. Making sure to keep good hygiene could greatly help ease your symptoms. By using a perineal cleansing product such as DermaRite PeriFresh No-Rinse Perineal Cleanser and unscented wipes to clean and soothe irritated areas, your skin will thank you.

5. A thermometer

You may start to run a fever during a Crohn’s flare. Keeping a thermometer on hand is helpful so you can keep track of your Crohn’s disease symptoms for your next doctor appointment. Writing down the date, time, and length of your elevated temperature can help your doctor better understand your symptoms.

6. An electrolyte solution

Sqwincher Electrolyte Replenishment DrinkIf you are experiencing diarrhea as a symptom of your Crohn’s disease, you are likely losing sodium and sugar, which help you stay hydrated. During a Crohn’s flare, watery diarrhea can cause dehydration symptoms such as thirst, urinating less frequently, darker urine than usual, dry mouth, headaches, and fatigue.

Your doctor may recommend an OTC oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte or Sqwincher products. These oral supplements help replenish vital minerals and nutrients lost during diarrhea and aid in rehydration. The key electrolytes (sodium and potassium) promote fluid absorption and help keep the body’s defense immune system optimally performing.

7. Nutritional supplements

Stocking up on bottles of nutritional supplements can help make sure you are getting adequate calories and nutrition. Since some foods may contribute to your Crohn’s disease symptoms, these dietary supplements can aid in delivering the proper nutrients as you manage your flare.

Ensure Original Strawberry flavored therapeutic nutritional shakeThere are plenty of flavorful supplements on the market today, so getting the right balance doesn’t have to taste bland. Some of the delicious varieties include:

8. Epsom salt

During a Crohn’s flare, anal fistulas and fissures can occur and cause painful bowel movements and soreness. Warm bath water with Epsom salt can help relieve the pain, itching, and muscle spasms. The water’s warmth may help ease the discomfort on the rear, and the Epsom salt can help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation.

9. Heating pads

Arthritis or pain and swelling of the joints are common complaints from those with Crohn’s disease. Heating pads deliver moist heat that can help relieve joint discomfort and help abdominal pain and cramping. These are low-risk solutions that might provide some needed comfort.

10. Vitamin supplements

With IBD, chronic intestinal bleeding leads to anemia, a lack of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen to body tissue. Doctors often prescribe an iron supplement to address this condition. Blood loss from ulcers might be another reason an iron supplement may be recommended.

According to a 2019 study, Crohn’s disease and the steroids used to treat the condition have been linked to an increased risk for osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones. Your doctor may recommend taking calcium and a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium to keep your bones healthy and prevent further problems.

Crohn’s disease can come with a wide array of complications and discomforts. Hopefully, some of these suggestions we have provided can help reduce your symptoms, ease your pain, lengthen your remission, and help you love an enjoyable life.

For any questions about the products, we carry at Personally Delivered that may help you get through your Crohn’s flare, our knowledgeable and caring Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist.

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Hydrocolloid Dressings: What, When, & How

The wound healing process is complex, and for a wound to heal correctly, it will need an optimum healing environment. This can be achieved by selecting and applying the right type of dressing. There are many wound care dressings on the market today, and one of the most commonly used is the hydrocolloid dressing. Here, we will discuss what hydrocolloid dressings are, when they are used, their advantages, and how to apply and remove them.

What are Hydrocolloid Dressings?

DuoDERM CGF Hydrocolloid dressingHydrocolloid dressings help maintain the optimal healing environment while protecting the wound, so the body’s own enzymes can get to work for proper healing. These dressings’ unique design allows it to absorb wound exudate and form a gel over the wound site. The result is a self-adhering and waterproof wound dressing that resembles an absorbent, flexible wafer. These advanced wound dressings come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. They are available with or without adhesive borders, such as the DuoDERM CGF Adhesive Border Hydrocolloid Dressing and the DuoDERM CGF Sterile Dressing.

When are Hydrocolloid Dressings Used?

Hydrocolloid dressings have the best effect on clean, uninfected wounds, have medium thickness, and have low to moderate drainage. Since these wound dressings are waterproof and flexible, they are an excellent choice to protect newly or partially healed wounds when the skin is still intact. Many times smaller hydrocolloid dressings are used for those suffering from acne. If a pimple is raised or has visible pus, the hydrocolloid dressing can absorb the fluid and flatten out the spot. Hydrocolloid dressings can decrease the severity of the pimple, its redness, oiliness, and dark pigmentation.

Using hydrocolloid dressings helps insulate the wound site allowing the body to consume less energy to heal. An important note is that these advanced wound dressings are not suitable for wounds with high exudate.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrocolloid Dressings

Advantages

DuoDERM hydrocolloid dressing for heels and elbowsHydrocolloid dressings can help promote faster healing of wounds for a variety of reasons.

  • They provide the optimal healing environment, keeping the wound site moist and allowing the body’s enzymes to get to work.
  • They are impermeable to protect against bacteria and other contaminants.
  • They do not stick to the wound site, but rather the healthy surrounding skin.
  • They can be left on longer than most other wound dressings, requiring less frequent changes.
  • They are flexible for the body areas that are difficult to dress, such as the heels and elbows.
  • They can be used alongside venous compression products.
  • They come in a wide selection of shapes and sizes.

Disadvantages

Although there are many benefits of using hydrocolloid dressings, it is essential to note that there are also some disadvantages.

  • They are not suitable for wounds that have heavy exudate as they may become forced out of position.
  • The excess moisture may lead to hypergranulation or maceration of the surrounding skin.
  • Some of the dressing may stick to the wound site and cause trauma to the soft healing tissue.
  • The dressing may have an unpleasant odor upon changing if some of it sticks to the healing wound.
  • These wound dressings can curl or roll up on the edges.
  • Assessing the wound site can be difficult due to the opaqueness of the hydrocolloids.

How to Apply Hydrocolloid Dressings

assortment of wound care supplies like gloves, gauze pads, and saline solutionYour doctor should provide you with detailed instructions on applying the hydrocolloid dressings that you will be using for your particular wound. However, there are some best practices to take and a general process to follow.

  1. Always wash your hands before handling wound care dressings and supplies.
  2. Put on a pair of surgical or exam gloves.
  3. If necessary, remove any current dressing and discard it. (See How to Remove Hydrocolloid Dressings below)
  4. Use an effective saline solution to clean the wound site and surrounding skin.
  5. Pat the wound site and the surrounding skin dry with sterile gauze.
  6. Remove and discard the gloves and put on a new pair.
  7. Use a quality moisture barrier to the periwound skin.
  8. Before removing the backing from the hydrocolloid dressing, hold it between your hands to warm it to adhere better.
  9. Remove the backing and center the dressing over the wound site, smoothing it from the center outward, pressing gently to improve adhesion.
  10. If the wound dressing does not have an adhesive border, secure it with tape.

How to Remove Hydrocolloid Dressings

Removing a hydrocolloid dressing from a wound site is very easy. However, taking great precautions is crucial as you do not want to cause any more damage to the affected and surrounding areas.

  1. Gently press down on the skin at the edge of one side of the adhesive border or tape to allow it to lift slightly.
  2. Using your fingers, slowly lift the edges and continue around until the adhesive is free from the skin.
  3. Gently and carefully, lift the hydrocolloid dressing away from the wound site.
  4. If you are changing the wound dressing, refer to the steps above to apply a new bandage.

Personally Delivered carries a wide variety of hydrocolloid dressings. For questions or help selecting the right wound care dressing for your wound type, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to help.

Popular Hydrocolloid Dressings

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DuoDERM Signal Hydrocolloid Heel Dressing

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Top 10 Incontinence Products for Seniors

According to research, more than 50% of elderly Americans suffer from incontinence, whether it be bladder or bowel related. Incontinence is not only a physical medical condition; it can also affect people mentally, emotionally, and financially. The cost of incontinence products for seniors can add up, and you could be caught off guard if you aren’t prepared.

We have compiled a list of what we think are the ten most useful incontinence products for seniors. Consider some or all of these incontinence supplies the next time you shop for yourself or a loved one to keep ample inventory levels on hand.

1. Briefs/Diapers

Attends Premier Briefs in a bag available in sizes medium to extra largeBecause briefs or diapers can be changed without removing all clothing articles, they are a preferred choice by many seniors. Briefs are for those needing a more secure and absorbent option and sometimes referred to as adult diapers. These one-piece incontinence garments feature re-fastenable tabs that make readjustment easy for a tight fit. Incontinence briefs also come in daytime or nighttime absorbencies depending on what level is needed. The Attends Premier Brief is an excellent incontinence product for seniors that offers both daytime and overnight protection.

2. Protective Underwear or Pull-Ups

Protective briefs or pull-ups are one-piece garments made to be easily pulled on and off and are an excellent incontinence product for seniors that are looking for more traditional and discreet protection. Offered in absorbencies for both day and night protection, protective underwear for seniors also provides odor control and moisture-wicking to remain comfortable and dry.

3. Underpads/Bed Pads/Chux

Available in various colors, materials, designs, and absorbency levels, underpads, bed pads, or chux, provide the extra protection needed to absorb leakage, reduce odors, and control bacteria. Instead of doubling up on protective underwear and mattress covers, an underpad can deliver the required absorbency on its own. Underpads can also be used to protect furniture, car seats, and even as pet potty training pads.

4. Liners/Pads

Incontinence pads and liners in a collageLiners, panty liners, or pads are placed inside regular underwear with their adhesive strip and are used for light to moderate urinary incontinence. Liners and pads are an economical incontinence product for seniors that do not have heavy leakage. On the other hand, booster pads are added to a disposable brief for an added layer of protection for those with moderate to heavy incontinence.

5. Fecal Pads

Fecal incontinence padsThe Butterfly Body Patch by Attends is an excellent fecal incontinence pad or bowel incontinence pads are designed for those who suffer from Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL) and are looking for a bowel leakage product that absorbs fluids and odors while being discreet. Many people are unaware of such a product and resort to using a regular bladder pad for bowel incontinence protection. Those with fecal incontinence require a disposable bowel leakage product, as the use of washable products is not an option. Fecal or bowel incontinence pads such as the Butterfly Body Patch, are specifically shaped to fit in and around the buttocks and are designed to absorb liquids and hold the stool in place. These bowel incontinence products are not as absorbent as traditional incontinence pads, so they hold less fluid.

6. Mattress Cover

Using a mattress cover is another incontinence product for seniors that protects the mattress from incontinence leaks, accidental spills, and unwanted stains. Mattress covers such as the Salk Prima Vinyl Mattress Cover, fit just like a fitted bed sheet, covering the entire mattress, and can also protect against bacteria and some allergens. Mattress protectors may also defend against bacteria and some allergens. Because mattress covers are made of water-resistant materials, they extend the mattress’s life. This handy feature can also protect your health. When fluids enter the mattress’s core, bacteria breeds and dust mites thrive in these warm, damp environments. Investing in a quality mattress cover as one of the top incontinence products for seniors can be beneficial for many reasons.

7. Skin Care

The entire area of the body covered by an incontinence product is at risk for skin irritation. If the skin has become wet or chaffed, the incontinence product either incorrectly fits the wearer or is not the right absorbency. With effective skin moisturizers, creams, and ointments, sensitive perineal skin can stay healthy and clean.

8. Personal Care Wipes & Washcloths

Aloe Vesta Bathing Cloths in a pouch are perfect as a no-rinse cleansing optionWith all the personal hygiene products available, personal care wipes are the most convenient when it comes to incontinence products for seniors. Using personal care wipes is not only a quicker and easier option than paper towels or cloths; they are also the most versatile cleaning product around. Wipes are compact enough for travel and an inexpensive way to keep yourself and the surfaces around you clean throughout the day.  When there isn’t a water source available, using personal care wipes can be used to quickly remove dirt and germs from the hands and face as well as a toilet paper alternative. Personal care wipes are an excellent choice to clean the body’s crevices in between changes of protective underwear for seniors.

9. Penis Clamp

As men age, they may experience difficulty controlling their urinary leakage when lifting, coughing, or straining. They may also have leakage or dribbling of urine due to other urinary problems such as prostate cancer. A penis clamp is an incontinence product for seniors that puts light pressure on the urethra and helps control urine leaking. They are a cost-effective way to help manage stress incontinence in men and worth having around for convenience and travel.

10. Adult Swim Brief

Swimmates adult disposable swim diapersIn the summer months, enjoying the pool can be difficult for those that suffer from incontinence.  With adult swim briefs such as the Swimmates Adult Reusable Diapers, pool-time can be worry-free. These snug-fitting, stretchy, and lightweight incontinence briefs are made specifically to fit underneath a swimsuit. Adult swim briefs are also machine washable and reusable, so they are budget-friendly when choosing these kinds of incontinence products for seniors.

Stocking up on the essential incontinence products for seniors is important when managing an incontinence condition. Not being prepared with the necessary incontinence supplies when you need them, most can be frustrating. You can rest easy with a little preparation, knowing that you don’t need to run out in an emergency to get the incontinence supplies you need.

For any questions about incontinence protective underwear for seniors, absorbent underpads, adult diapers and briefs, or any other incontinence product we carry, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. Being prepared never felt so good!

Related Incontinence Products

Prevail Air Heavy Absorbency Briefs

Prevail Air Briefs in a bag are a heavy absorbency option

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear

Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpads

Cardinal Health Quilted Premium MVP Underpad

Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter

The Hollister Extended-Wear Self-Adhesive Male External Catheter
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Post-Plastic Surgery “Must-Haves” at Home

Are you scheduled to have a plastic surgery procedure and wondering what might make your recovery more comfortable once you get back home? We have some suggested “must-have” items that can aid in the healing process and help make the first several days at home a bit less stressful. Taking it easy after any kind of reconstructive or plastic surgery is essential, and with a little preparation, relaxation is achievable with the right products and supplies. One of the best things you can do to help aid post-surgery recovery is to plan ahead.

Comfortable Clothing

Do you have a favorite oversized button-up shirt and pajama pants? If not, it is time to purchase a few sets. After surgery, it’s not about fashion, it’s about comfort. Loose-fitting clothing will be your new favorite look, and your body will thank you later.

After plastic surgery, such as breast surgery, lifting your arms may be temporarily difficult. A large button-up or zip-up top is easy to put on and take off. Soft, loose-fitting bottoms with either an elastic waistband or tie and a pair of slippers are also highly recommended. For a few days and sometimes longer, you will want to minimize the amount of movement necessary for you to put on and take off clothing articles.

Vascular Compression Garments

vascular compression socks for plastic surgery recovery at home

The body naturally produces fluids during recovery, and wearing a compression garment can help the body recover and increases your comfort during the healing process. The compression garment aids in a smooth recovery process after surgical procedures by applying even pressure around the treated area, preventing fluid buildup and helping the body absorb any fluid that does not accumulate.

Vascular compression garments are constructed of elastic and nylon material and work to facilitate a tight (but not constrictive) fit. Compression garments ensure that specific body areas receive constant, uniform pressure and are appropriately sized to fit your body’s contours for the type of surgery you underwent.

Some of the benefits of wearing compression garments include:

  • They Can Promote Healing
  • Swelling happens when the body sends fluid to the surgery site after a surgical procedure. By using compression garments, the amount of fluid buildup reduces, resulting in less swelling.
  • They Can Reduce Infections
  • Because compression garments are placed over the surgery site, bacteria and other potential contaminants are kept away from the wound, keeping the surgery site protected from possible infection.
  • They Can Prevent Bruising
  • Bruising is common after surgery. Blood vessels are disrupted when a surgical incision is made, causing blood to leak from small blood vessels under the skin near the surgical site. This bruising can be minimized by using compression garments to help red blood cells from working themselves up to the surface of the skin.
  • They Can Minimize Scarring
  • Compression garments deliver pressure therapy to help manage the development of scar tissue. The compression garment holds the skin together firmly and interferes with the body’s ability to produce collagen at the surgery site, which is how scars are formed.

Body Support Pillows

a body pillow is excellent when recovering from plastic surgeryAfter a plastic surgery procedure such as a facelift or rhinoplasty, keeping your head elevated is helpful. Those that undergo breast and body plastic surgery procedures can benefit from body pillows and cushions such as the body pillowcervical pillow, or thera cushion by Hermell Products.

a neck pillow for comfortable plastic surgery recovery at homePillows help position your body so that you can rest and sleep comfortably during recovery. Some plastic surgery procedures like breast surgery won’t allow you to sleep on your sides for an extended period. Having a couple of body pillows on each side can help you stay in place throughout the night without worrying about accidentally turning onto your side.

Underpads or a Mattress Cover

a mattress protector is excellent for plastic surgery recovery in case of a spill or leak

After most surgical procedures, our digestion systems get disrupted. The use of anesthesia and other pain medications and lack of mobility all contribute to constipation. Some respond well to gentle constipation relief like stool softeners or laxatives, while others may wind up having unpredictable diarrhea episodes. By preparing yourself and your recovery area with underpads, bed pads, or chux, you can protect yourself and your furniture from these incidents.

For even more security for your bed, you might opt for a mattress cover. A mattress cover or mattress protector can help extend your mattress’s life by protecting it from stains. With a mattress cover on, you are safeguarding your bed from leaks and spills that can also result in potential mold growth if the liquids soak deep into the mattress. Just make sure that you choose a waterproof option when purchasing your mattress cover. In addition to keeping your bed clean and sanitary, a mattress cover can also provide another comfort layer.

Skin & Wound Care Supplies

You cannot wash your hands enough after surgery. The frequent use of hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap can prevent infection and the spread of it. Place hand sanitizers next to your bed, the kitchen, near the toilet, and at your front door for visitors to use upon entry.

Curity gauze spongesYour regular personal hygiene routine might not be possible when you are recovering. With some surgeries, your doctor’s orders may include for you to not get wet for the first few days after plastic surgery. Stock up on no-rinse products like foaming cleansers and body wash, rinse-free shampoo, and no-rinse perineal cleanser. These products can help you feel cleaner and more comfortable.

white exam glove on handYou can also benefit by being well-stocked on wound care supplies such as gauze sponges and pads, wound care spray, and alcohol prep wipes or swab sticks. Your doctor may send you home with a little care pack that includes a limited amount of these supplies, but that will usually not be enough. Depending on the directions you receive from your surgeon, your would site may need to be cleaned and redressed multiple times a day. Having an ample supply of wound care products can keep your surgery site sterile and help reduce the risk of infection.

And don’t forget about a box of gloves. Even though you will frequently be washing your hands and using hand sanitizer, when you are cleaning a wound site and replacing the dressings, you will want to handle your wound care supplies with just as much care.

Prepared Meals

four plastic containers of prepared healthy meals

Making sure you have plenty of meals prepared for when you get back from the hospital is essential since you may not be up to cooking for the first several days after surgery. Prepping extra food when cooking in the weeks leading up to your surgery will help fill your freezer with easily accessible reheatable meals during recovery. You can also opt for prepared meals that come in a can or microwaveable container that similarly provide balanced nutrition, especially if you might have any trouble swallowing.

Certain surgeries, such as breast surgery, will limit your range of motion. It is wise to place items you will need out of the refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets down to a more accessible level. Anything that is 5 lbs. or more should also be distributed into smaller, more manageable containers to not lift more than you should during your recovery.

In addition to your favorite healthy foods, have a few options on hand that are gentle on the stomach in case of irritation. You might feel nauseous after anesthesia or when using pain medications, so having items such as ginger ale, applesauce, bananas, rice, and crackers are foods that may have a calming effect on the stomach when you feel nauseous after surgery.

And always remember to stay hydrated! Keep plenty of fresh water around you at all times. The body heals quicker and better when it is adequately hydrated.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Clearlax laxative powder

It would be a wise decision to ask your doctor what prescriptions you will be required to take to get these filled in advance if possible. Some patients don’t need prescription pain relief and easily manage discomfort using over-the-counter options. Make sure you have ibuprofen and acetaminophen on hand, as these are potent medications that can enhance your comfort while you heal. Just make sure your doctor approves of these kinds of over-the-counter medications as sometimes they can interfere with the prescriptions or the healing process.

As we mentioned earlier, your surgeon may also recommend over-the-counter products to counteract constipation resulting from the pain medications. These may come in the form of powder, liquid, pills, or fiber intake. You can avoid discomfort by making sure you have these ready and available should the need arise.

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Don't Forget to Ask for Help

Make sure you have someone to help you around the house for the first few days. You can also hire a home health care service to help you with chores or small errands like prescription refills if necessary. In addition to the meals you ready prepped, friends and family can help cook some comfort foods to keep you well-stocked. It never hurts to ask for help, and you will be surprised how many will be more than willing.

As you prepare for plastic surgery, you may need to ask for help in the following ways:

  • Someone to drive you home on the day of your surgery
  • Someone you trust to stay with you for the first day or two
  • Help with your children, if you have young ones at home
  • Assistance cleaning up around the house or running quick errands
  • Someone to drive you to and from post-surgical appointments until you’re off pain medications and able to drive yourself

Recovery is often the most challenging part of the plastic surgery process, but with a little preparation and a bit of patience, you’ll soon be looking back at how quickly it all went. Take your time throughout the recovery process and allow your body to heal at its own pace gently. While there is no checklist that works to fit everyone’s personal preferences and doctor recommendations, this list of “must-haves” may be a great place to start.

For any questions about any of the products we offer that might help you with your plastic surgery recovery process, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist. Remember, recovery is a process. It takes time, patience, and everything you’ve got.

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Wound Treatment: An In-Depth Look

Wound treatment is vital in the healing process. Whether you have a wound that is from recent surgery, pressure or dermal ulcer, or injury, choosing the right wound care products and supplies to treat your wound can aid in the time it takes to heal. Not only will the right wound care products help promote faster healing, but they can also help reduce the chances of infection, potential scarring, and help prevent the wound from becoming chronic. Proper wound treatment is essential for healing.

Wound Healing Process

The healing process of a wound follows a series of 4 stages and if any of the stages are interrupted, the wound may fail to properly heal. The 4 stages of normal wound healing include:

  • Hemostasis Stage – In this first phase of wound healing happens as the body tries to make the wound site stable and stop any bleeding. In order for that to happen, the blood vessels at the wound site constrict to prevent blood from draining while platelets come together to form a stable clot.icon of a gash on the shin of a leg
  • Inflammatory stage –  This defensive second stage allows the body to remove any debris at the wound site and destroy bacteria. Once the blood clot is formed, blood vessels expand to allow maximum blood flow to the wound, which is the reason a wound initially may feel warm and look red. White blood cells enter the wound site and begin to destroy bacteria and other foreign bodies. As this takes place, skin cells multiply, and the tissue repair process begins as a scab is formed.
  • Proliferative stage – During the third phase, the goal is to repair the damage that has occurred. New blood vessels begin to form as collagen, a protein fiber starts to grow and fill the wound. The growth of collagen pulls the margins of the wound inward, eventually closing the wound. This new skin at the wound site is then delivered blood by the new small blood vessels that have formed.
  • Maturation stage – The final and fourth stage of the wound healing process involves gaining strength in the new tissue as the body continues to add more collagen and refine the wound site. Depending on the wound, this final process may take months or even years. Scars tend to fade with time, which is why long term wound treatment is necessary well after the wound appears to be healed.

Factors That Slow the Wound Healing Process

  • Dead Skin Cells – It is important to keep the wound site clean to remove any dead skin cells and debris that can interfere with the wound healing process.
  • Infection – If bacteria enters the wound site, infection occurs, and the body fights the infection rather than trying to heal the wound.
  • Immobility – If a person is confined to their bed because of immobility, they are more at risk for developing bedsores (also known as pressure sores) because of reduced blood circulation. Treating these types of wounds can be more difficult since they are usually exposed to constant pressure and friction.
  • Nutrition – Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, a healthy diet is important to give the body the nutrients it needs to heal the wound, such as vitamin C and protein.
  • Medical Conditions – Diabetes, anemia, and some vascular diseases can cause poor blood flow to the wound site, therefore hindering the wound healing process.
  • Age – Since everything slows down as we age, wounds tend to take longer to heal. Thinning of the skin makes it more fragile and there is also a decreased inflammatory response in elderly people.person pouring pills from a prescription bottle into their hand
  • Medications – Certain medical conditions require specific medications. Some of the medications used in the management of some medical conditions may interfere with one of the necessary stages during the wound healing process.
  • Smoking – We know that smoking isn’t good for our overall health, but it impairs the healing process by lowering the level of oxygen in the blood, which is vital for wound healing.
  • Skin Dryness – Wounds require a moist environment in order for the skin and immune cells to do their job in the wound healing process. Wounds that are dried out and exposed to air are more at risk for infection and less likely to heal. The body can focus on healing the wound rather than protecting it when it is in a moist environment.

Wound Treatment Tips & Suggestions

Wash Your Hands

Bacteria and debris contribute to infection, so washing your hands with antibacterial soap before ever touching a wound is the first and most important step in the wound treatment process.

Cleaning Your Wound

Before applying any wound care dressing, it is important to carefully clean the site. Not only will cleaning the wound help prevent infection, but it can also speed up the complete healing process. You can follow these simple steps to properly clean a wound:SAF-Cleans AF wound treatment cleanser

  1. Rinse, wash, and remove debris  A variety of wound care cleansers are available to effectively irrigate and wash away any bacteria and debris from the wound site.
  2. Gently dry and apply an antibiotic –  Pat the wound site dry and then opt for one of these wound treatment products that will help maintain the skin’s pH balance and work to prevent infection.
  3. Apply a wound care dressing – A sterile wound care dressing keeps the wound protected and are offered in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate the most irregularly shaped wounds and their locations on the body. Choosing the right wound care dressing can also determine how well your wound heals.

Replace Wound Care Dressings

A wound that is left uncovered and exposed to the air is at greater risk of infection, which can also lead to unnecessary pain because of the dried out cells on the surface. Using a sterile bandage or gauze to cover the wound after cleaning is important, but so is replacing it frequently enough. A wound care dressing should be replaced as often as required to keep the wound leakage from seeping through the dressing.

Stay Hydrated & Eat a Healthy DietPro-Stat Sugar-free Wild Cherry Punch nutritional supplement

Hydrated skin is healthy skin and that facilitates the wound healing process. Your body heals most efficiently when it feels its best, so try to maintain a healthy diet. By incorporating foods that are high in protein and Vitamin C into your diet, you may be increasing the wound healing process. There are also nutritional supplements that can be taken as an alternate option for getting those nutrients and their added benefits.

Try a Topical Wound Treatment

MEDIHONEY wound treatment gelApplying a topical wound treatment can ease some of the pain that is often associated with wounds. A wound treatment product that contains aloe such as Cardinal Health’s Amorphous Hydrogel can help soothe your symptoms. Another great topical wound treatment is the use of honey. MEDIHONEY Products assist the healing process by lowering the pH of wounds, therefore promoting better healing.

Compression Therapy

Offered as an effective way to improve blood flow, vascular compression products are often suggested for use by a physician when referring to wound treatment options. Compression therapy can work well for those with venous ulcers to limit swelling around the wound and prevent blood clots, thus speeding up the wound healing process. a roll of compression wrap for wound treatment therapy

You should always consult with your doctor before purchasing a compression product as there are varying levels of compression that could do more harm than good.

Remember, proper wound treatment is essential for healing. You should always get your doctor’s opinion to determine what the best wound treatment plan is for your specific needs. If your wound is considerably deep or shows signs of serious infection, don’t attempt your wound treatment on your own.

You can get the wound care products and supplies delivered right to your door when you place your order with us. Even better, you can save 5% on your orders when you opt-in to our automatic delivery option. There is no commitment, and you can cancel at any time. Just choose the frequency you would like your wound care products to arrive, and we will take care of the rest.

For any questions about the wide array of wound care products we offer, we are just a phone call away. One of our Personally Delivered Product Experts will be happy to speak to you.

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How to Prevent Diaper Rash When Using Adult Diapers

Adult Diapers for Men can save the day when it comes to incontinence. As a line of defense when anxiety over leakage is at its high, it is nice to be able to depend on a product that helps. Along with wearing adult diapers for men is the potential for developing diaper rash. Because diapers can cause rubbing and other irritations and make the skin moist, a rash can develop as a result. Diaper rash can cause redness of the skin, bumps, pain, burning and more. Diaper rash shouldn’t have to be a concern when incontinence is already at the forefront of the mind. Thankfully, there are some ways in which individuals can prevent and improve diaper rash.

Creams and Ointments

Sensi-Care Clear Zinc OintmentThere are numerous products available both in stores and online for preventing and treating diaper rash, so it is easy to get help immediately. One way to prevent and treat diaper rash is to be diligent about applying a cream with zinc oxide in it. Zinc oxide acts as a barrier for friction and soothes pain and burning, so when wearing adult diapers for men it may be helpful to keep the product on hand. Other products, such as Aquaphor and Vaseline, can help with similar symptoms and are clear, rather than white. These emollients assist in keeping moisture away.

Air Flow

Tranquility breathable briefs

It can help to allow air to flow under a diaper as much as possible, which can be a challenge when on the go. Try to take breaks and dry the area to lessen moisture. Another preventive measure that can be taken is to choose incontinence diapers for men that are hypoallergenic and breathable. The small holes in the breathable briefs are referred to as micropores and they help reduce humidity and increase air flow.

Choose the Right Product

person with white gloves on taking measurements of a woman's hipsProducts vary in design and sizing, so taking the time to try various products and ensure sizing is correct can make a big difference in preventing diaper rash. A diaper that is too tight could create too much moisture, while a diaper that is too large can cause too much friction. If unsure, contact the manufacturer’s customer support team for assistance.

Diaper Changes

no-rinse cleansing productsChanging adult diapers for men frequently can help to keep the area clean and as dry as possible. Especially in the event of leakage, be sure to change into a new diaper. It is also important to keep the body area washed and clean. We carry a variety of no-rinse cleansing products that make clean up easy and convenient.

Many strategies can help to minimize diaper rash, and by taking action you can have more confidence and comfort throughout the day. With basic hygiene and the use of creams and ointments, most diaper rashes are resolved within a couple days. If your diaper rash is severe, persistent, or painful, always consult with your doctor to prevent skin damage and potential health complications.

For questions about the incontinence products we offer, or for assistance determining the right incontinence supplies for your needs, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away.

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The Importance of Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene has a wealth of benefits, including reducing your chances for illnesses, diseases, and infections. Plus, there is absolutely no risk for practicing good hygiene! The importance of hygiene can be a difficult topic to discuss, but it doesn’t have to be. Caring about your wellbeing should be one of the most important practices for a long, happy, and healthy life. We care about your wellbeing, so we are going to discuss some of the things you can do to maintain good body hygiene and cleanliness.

How Good Hygiene Affects You

Practicing good hygiene is beneficial to your overall  physical and mental health and more than just being clean. Keeping your entire body clean from head to toe not only helps prevent illnesses and infections from harmful bacteria, but it can give your self-esteem a boost. We tend to feel better when we take care of ourselves. There are many personal hygiene habits to incorporate into your everyday routine to make sure you keep yourself and the environment around you hygienic.

Types of Personal Hygiene

Hand Hygiene

hand-washing hygiene in the kitchenWashing your hands is one of the easiest habits to practice to prevent the spread of germs to your eyes, mouth, food, as well as to those around you. Any time you handle food, garbage, pet an animal, sneeze, or use the restroom, you should wash your hands. Follow the 5-step rule for washing hands:

  1. Wet – Get your hands wet with clean water.
  2. Lather – Apply soap to your hands and work up a lather.
  3. Scrub – For at least 20 seconds, scrub your hands.
  4. Rinse – With clean water, rinse your hands free of the soap lather.
  5. Dry – Use either a towel or air dry your hands.

If you do not have a water source, you can also choose to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Oral Hygiene

By brushing and flossing your teeth, you are helping to prevent gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. You should practice brushing your teeth twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. Adding an antimicrobial mouthwash to your routine can also help reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and prevent tooth decay. It is suggested to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and visit a dentist for routine cleanings every 6 months.

Shop for Oral Hygiene products HERE.

And, here is a handy infographic about brushing your teeth: Brushing-Your-Teeth

Nail Hygiene

woman painting her nails for maintaining nail hygieneKeeping your nails clean helps prevent the spread of germs into your mouth and other areas of the body. Trimming your nails regularly to make sure there aren’t any sharp edges or hangnails and using a nail file to smooth them keeps fingernails looking nice. Using a soft nail brush or washcloth can also help remove and rinse any dirt or buildup underneath the nail. Refraining from biting your nails and picking at the cuticles is necessary for good nail hygiene. If you use nail polish remover, try opting for an acetone-free formula.

Body/Skin/Hair Hygiene

Taking a shower or bath is essential to wash away dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils and is essential when practicing good body hygiene. The skin is the largest organ of the body and contains 2 layers. The thin outer layer is made up of dead skin cells that are constantly shed and replaced by new cells. The thick inner layer is made up of blood vessels, nerves, and hair follicles that contain glands. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum, which helps the skin and hair from drying out. Washing your body and hair daily removes dirt, oil, and those dead skin cells before they can accumulate. Make sure to pay attention to your armpits, groin, ears, elbows, back, and feet. All-in-one no-rinse alternatives such as the DermaRite 4-N-1 No-Rinse Wash are also handy for frequent cleansing. Good body hygiene can help make you look and feel your best.

Foot Hygiene

Fungal organisms love moisture, so keeping feet clean and dry will help prevent them from thriving. Our feet have sweat glands, too! Wear socks to trapping away moisture and make sure that your shoes fit properly. Trimming your toenails and using a nail file to smooth the edges helps to avoid ingrown toenails and allows you to check them for any infections, sores, or discoloration of the nails. Examining your feet is an important part of personal hygiene, especially if you have diabetes since it increases the risk of foot sores and infections.

Food Hygiene

male and female chefs preparing food in the kitchen In order to prevent food-borne illness, certain food safety practices are used when handling, preparing, and storing food. Spoiled or rotten food can smell, however not all harmful bacteria have a scent. Making sure to clean your hands before handling food, cooking food to the proper temperature, and storing food promptly are ways to practice good food hygiene. When using a cutting board, make sure to sanitize it after every use. Wooden and plastic cutting boards are porous and bacteria can lurk behind in grooves made by a knife. Keeping hair up and out of the face prevents it from landing in food and wearing an apron protects your clothing from coming in contact with the food.

Clothing Hygiene

Dirty clothes, especially socks and underwear, can harbor microorganisms that can lead to skin infections. Not washing your clothing can have an impact on your overall health. Body odor can arise from stains on clothing that bacteria accumulate on. Fungi and bacteria thrive in warm, moist, and dark environments, causing bad smells and other conditions such as athlete’s foot. Not only should you wash your clothes, but you also need to remember to wash your bathroom and kitchen towels regularly as well. To avoid cross-contamination, try not to share towels and clothing.

Side Effects of Poor Hygiene

Poor personal hygiene can have minor side effects, but can also lead to more serious ones. Here are just a few of the side effects from poor personal hygiene.

  • You can transfer germs and other harmful bacteria to your eyes and mouth by not washing your hands. Issues such as pink eye and stomach viruses happen as a result of not routinely washing your hands.
  • Not brushing your teeth regularly can lead to plaque buildup causing cavities, gum disease, and other teeth issues, not to mention bad breath. Some research has also shown a link between gum disease and heart disease.
  • You can get Athlete’s Foot if you often walk around barefoot, especially in public areas where infection can spread such as swimming pools, shower areas, and locker rooms. This is a contagious fungal infection that thrives in moist environments and can spread to the toenails and hands.
  • Body odor and greasy hair are also side effects of poor personal body hygiene. Maintaining a good cleansing routine will help keep you looking and feeling fresh, giving you a sense of pride in your appearance. Those around you will appreciate your good body hygiene, too.
  • Bacteria breeds in unclean environments such as the kitchen and dining areas, therefore leading to contamination of food. It is imperative to wash your hands prior to preparing food to keep bacteria from entering our bodies. Make sure to clean up and properly store leftovers, taking note of expiration dates. You could end up with diarrhea or even food poisoning if food is not correctly handled.

Choosing the Right Personal Hygiene Products

Depending on the situation, there are many different kinds of personal hygiene products available for a variety of needs. Almost all toiletries and cleaning supplies come in multiple sizes and formulas. There are specific personal body hygiene products on the market for those with limited mobility, are traveling, or do not have access to a water supply.

Personal Cleansing Wipes

Aloe Vesta Bathing ClothsPersonal cleansing wipes are great for entire body hygiene. Since they come in convenient tubs or pouches, they are easy to transport on the go. You can quickly and conveniently use these personal wipes to cleanse your hands, as a facial wipe, to disinfect a surface, or even as a substitute for toilet paper. Look for wipes that are pH-balanced, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and contain aloe to soothe the skin such as the Aloe Vesta Bathing Cloths. These wipes are large, easy-to-use, rinse-free, and disposable, making them a great choice for everyday use as well as for travel.

Rinse-free Body Washes

All-in-one body washes such as the Aloe Vesta Shampoo and Body Wash gently and effectively cleanses, conditions, and deodorizes when there is no accessible water source. These formulas serve the need of bedridden patients and the elderly where rinsing is difficult. Most can be used anywhere on the body, including perineal areas since they are non-irritating and alcohol-free. This type of product is great for traveling and camping as well.

Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers act quickly to kill 99% of microorganisms on the hands and can be less irritating than soap and water. They are effective against both bacteria and viruses and come in a variety of sizes suitable for travel and larger group settings. Some even contain Vitamin E and Aloe to moisturize as they disinfect such as McKesson’s Premium Hand Sanitizer. In order for hand sanitizers to work effectively, make sure to choose one that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Bed Pads and Underpads

Covidien Simplicity Basic UnderpadProtecting your mattress, chair, car seat, and couch with a hygiene product like a bed pad or underpad can help trap leaks during the day and night if you suffer from incontinence. There are reusable protective bed pads such as the Birdseye Reusable Soaker Underpad and there are also disposable bed pads such as the Covidien Simplicity Basic Underpad. Reusable bad pads are typically more expensive and made of a washable material, but you may save more money long-term. On the other hand, disposable bed pads are meant for single-use, which means you will use more of them. Choosing a bed pad or underpad that has a waterproof outer edge and flaps to tuck in for security can help you feel comfortable and protected day or night. Did you know that you can also use bed pads and underpads for potty training pets?

Caring for yourself is good for both your physical health and your mental health. Maintaining a hygienic lifestyle is important to prevent and control illnesses. Getting into a good personal hygiene routine may be difficult for some and might take some patience and practice, but it is worth every effort. You should speak to your doctor if you are having a hard time adapting to good personal hygiene habits.

For any questions about the personal hygiene products we carry or need guidance on how to use them, our Personally Delivered Product Experts are just a phone call away and happy to help.

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