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, 7 (3), 319-330

Skin Health Connected to the Use of Absorbent Hygiene Products: A Review


Skin Health Connected to the Use of Absorbent Hygiene Products: A Review

Johanna Karlsson Bender et al. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb).


Over the past 50 years, absorbent hygiene products such as baby diapers and incontinence products have become essential features of modern day life. Through innovation and enhanced technology, their design, composition and performance have been dramatically upgraded from their early forms, and they have transformed the lives of millions of people, improving their quality of life. Skin health related to the use of absorbent hygiene products has accordingly also greatly improved. Still, the wearing of absorbent hygiene products will affect the skin, and for some users the changes in microclimate, mechanical interactions and the exposure to urine and faeces may result in irritant contact dermatitis, i.e. diaper dermatitis (DD) or incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD). Babies with developing skin and the elderly with deteriorating skin functions who are the most frequent users of absorbent hygiene products are more vulnerable to the causal factors. Although irritant reactions are the most common, allergic contact dermatitis should be considered if a DD/IAD fails to improve by recommended actions. There is also a connection between IAD and pressure ulcer development of which it is important to be aware. A holistic approach of using high-quality absorbent hygiene products in combination with appropriate skin care will help maintaining good skin health.

Keywords: Absorbent hygiene product; Diaper dermatitis; Incontinence associated dermatitis; Skin barrier; Skin health; Stratum corneum; pH.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Effect on frequency of diaper dermatitis from development of modern disposable diapers [7]
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
External factors causing diaper dermatitis and incontinence-associated dermatitis

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