Keeping Skin Around a Catheter Healthy

Tips for keeping the skin around the catheter healthy. 
If you have urinary incontinence, there may be a time when you need to use a catheter. Keeping the skin around a catheter healthy should be a top priority. Irritation, maceration or inflammation of the skin can be caused by prolonged exposure to urine or stool, or lack of catheter care is not only painful and uncomfortable, but can lead to infection. The following are some tips for how to keep the skin surrounding the catheter healthy:

1. Always properly clean and disinfect the exit site during a dressing change. Proper skin care starts with keeping the skin clean. Consider using products specially formulated for cleansing skin that may be exposed to urine or stool. A pH balanced cleanser, such as Lantiseptic Perineal Wash Spray or Foamer is a great option. Cleanse the skin at each changing, and anytime it may need it.

2. Wear sterile gloves. This will help stop the spread of germs, and keep the site clean. This is especially important if you have felt ill, or come into contact with anyone feeling ill. Caregivers can find gloves, as well as many other incontinence products, and senior care products by using the Caregiver Partnership’s Incontinence Product Finder, which makes sorting through their more than 600 products fast and efficient.

3. Use a skin ointment to help protect the skin from excess moisture. Moisture is one of the biggest factors in skin irritation and breakdown. Using an ointment as a protective barrier will help to prevent skin damage. Consider a zinc oxide based multi-purpose ointment such as the Lantiseptic Multi-Purpose Skin Ointment. It is specifically designed for skin that may be exposed to urine, feces, perspiration, and bacteria.

If you see any drainage, swelling, or redness at the exit site, be sure to notify your clinician. Otherwise, remember the best solution for skin irritation and breakdown around the catheter is to clean, moisturize, protect and help treat. Having the right products help. Learn more about great products and  see some of the top rated and professionally recommended options.

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About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353


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