Understanding Incontinence Associated Dermatitis


Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is a type of skin irritation which impacts those of us who experience incontinence related medical conditions.


Incontinence can be a frustrating heath issue causing embarrassment and anxiety for sufferers and it can impact men and women of any age. Those with bowel and/or bladder incontinence are at risk of developing IAD.


At Sudocrem® we understand some of the physical and mental challenges that living with and caring for someone with incontinence or IAD can bring.


We’re here to help you better understand the causes and symptoms of IAD and guide you through how best to manage the condition, providing support and an effective solution to help you manage and alleviate your loved one’s discomfort.

What is Incontinence Associated Dermatitis?

Incontinence-associated dermatitis is a form of irritant contact dermatitis which is caused by prolonged exposure to urine and faeces and is commonly found in people experiencing urine and/or faecal incontinence.


It is also referred to as adult nappy rash or adult diaper rash, as sufferers tend to wear nappies or incontinence pads, although you can still develop IAD even without using incontinence products.


As a user or a carer for someone who uses incontinence products it is important to look out for some of the early signs of IAD, as spotting symptoms early can help reduce the risk of infection and help alleviate pain and discomfort.


In mild cases of IAD, sufferers may notice the following:


  • Pink or red skin with dry patches or bumps
  • Itching
  • A burning sensation
  • Skin may feel warm to the touch


In more severe cases, people may develop lesions, experience bleeding or oozing of the wounds, increasing the risk of infection which is why proper protection and management of IAD is so important.

What causes Incontinence Associated Dermatitis?


Preventing, managing or treating IAD can be a difficult and frustrating experience for sufferers and carers alike. Understanding its causes can help you take proactive steps to prevent and manage it, so let’s explore some of these together:

  • Moisture: Prolonged exposure to moisture and extended contact with urine, sweat or faeces can lead to skin irritation.
  • Chafing: This occurs when there is friction between the skin and materials. Poorly fitted incontinence products can cause chafing and increase the risk of developing IAD.
  • Poor hygiene: Not changing incontinence products often enough or not bathing and washing the genital area after an episode of incontinence can lead to IAD.

How to prevent and manage Incontinence Associated Dermatitis


While IAD can be an extremely unpleasant experience for anyone affected by it, the good news is there are some steps you can take to help prevent the condition from developing.


One of the first steps of preventing IAD is ensuring regular changing of incontinence products and applying a barrier cream.


If IAD symptoms do start to develop, do not worry as there are some practical steps you can take to manage the condition at home:


  • Keep the area clean: Ensure you regularly change incontinence products to prevent prolonged exposure to moisture, urine and faeces
  • Clean skin: After every change gently cleanse the affected area, ensuring you remove all traces of urine and faeces. Use lukewarm water and avoid rubbing the area, to prevent any further irritation.
  • Ensure the area is dry: Pat the area dry with a clean towel and give the area time to breathe before applying new incontinence products.
  • Apply a treatment: To help alleviate and treat the symptoms, apply Sudocrem® Antiseptic Healing Cream. Sudocrem® can help relieve the discomfort and help restore the skin back to its healthy condition.
  • Choose the right incontinence product: Make sure your chosen products fit well and are not too tight or too loose as this may cause chafing and increase the risk of developing incontinence associated dermatitis.

How does Sudocrem® Antiseptic Healing Cream help Incontinence Associated Dermatitis?

At Sudocrem® we understand how important it is to keep skin healthy and protect it from the damage associated with incontinence – which is why we’re here to help.

Here’s how Sudocrem® can help you manage IAD and alleviate some of the stress associated with incontinence management:


  • Treats Inflamed Skin: Our formulation helps to calm redness and reduce swelling.
  • Mild pain relief: Sudocrem® contains Benzyl alcohol, which has local anaesthetic properties which help to reduce discomfort and soreness
  • Forms a protective barrier: Helping to guard against further damage and promote overall skin health
  • Helps heal skin: Sudocrem® supports the restoration of the skin’s natural barrier function, which is often damaged during prolonged exposure to urine or faeces
  • Antibacterial properties: Help to prevent infections and promote healing


To use Sudocrem® to treat IAD, take enough of the product to cover the affected area on your fingers and apply to the skin using small circular movements to create a thin translucent layer – apply as often as needed.


Learn More: Explore our website for information on other conditions Sudocrem® can help treat, from nappy rash to eczema. Sudocrem®’s versatility extends beyond IAD, so discover its full potential!

Where to Buy

Rowlands Pharmacy
Independent Pharmacies