Clinical challenges of preventing incontinence-associated dermatitis

Br J Nurs. 2011 Jul;20(13):784-6,788,790. doi: 10.12968/bjon.2011.20.13.784.


Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is a common skin disorder in patients with faecal and/or urinary incontinence. The past decade has seen a huge growth in publications focusing on the complexity and inconsistency of the clinical observation of IAD and the differentiation between IAD and pressure ulcers. IAD and superficial pressure ulcers cause confusion in clinical practice when trying to determine the true nature and underlying pathology of the lesion. It is a daily challenge for health professionals in hospitals, nursing homes and community care to maintain a healthy skin in patients with incontinence. The aim of this article is to provide a brief update on recent developments regarding the differentiation between pressure ulcers and IAD and the prevention of IAD. Recommendations for clinical practice and research are provided.

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Contact / nursing
  • Dermatitis, Contact / prevention & control*
  • Fecal Incontinence / complications*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Perineum
  • Pressure Ulcer / prevention & control
  • Urinary Incontinence / complications*