Incontinence-associated dermatitis: a consensus

J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2007 Jan-Feb;34(1):45-54; quiz 55-6. doi: 10.1097/00152192-200701000-00008.


Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is an inflammation of the skin that occurs when urine or stool comes into contact with perineal or perigenital skin. Little research has focused on IAD, resulting in significant gaps in our understanding of its epidemiology, natural history, etiology, and pathophysiology. A growing number of studies have examined clinical and economic outcomes associated with prevention strategies, but less research exists concerning the efficacy of various treatments. In the clinical and research settings, IAD is often combined with skin damage caused by pressure and shear or related factors, sometimes leading to confusion among clinicians concerning its etiology and diagnosis. This article reviews existing literature related to IAD, outlines strategies for assessing, preventing, and treating IAD, and provides suggestions for additional research needed to enhance our understanding and management of this common but under-reported and understudied skin disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Protocols
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic
  • Dermatitis, Irritant* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Irritant* / epidemiology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant* / etiology
  • Dermatitis, Irritant* / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fecal Incontinence / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Perineum
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Care / economics
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Skin Care / nursing
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Urinary Incontinence / complications*
  • Water Loss, Insensible