ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Skin Care For Seniors and People With Disabilities

Updated on November 7, 2015

Skincare is vitally important for anyone suffering from a lack of mobility or any type of incontinence. Over 30 years ago I saw a boy with bedsores (decubitus ulcers) down to the bone. He was looking at more than a year of hospitalization and possible amputation of his legs. His skin had been perfectly healthy when he had been released from the rehab hospital six months earlier. The sight of that young man's backside, worn down and eaten away by neglect and his own disinterest, made an impression that no amount of lecturing from doctors ever could. I am a fanatic about skin care!

Get My Book on Adult Diapers

The Complete Guide to Adult Diapers
The Complete Guide to Adult Diapers

This easy-to-understand guide covers the different types of diapers available and explains how they are used.

The electronic book can be read on any computer or electronic device with a free app available from Amazon.com.

 

This skin we sit on is assaulted by moisture, bacteria, fungus, pressure, heat, and all manner of acidic/alkaline discharges. A lack of movement, blood supply, and adequate air can turn a healthy bottom into a swollen, inflamed, infected, and extraordinarily painful mess. It's possible to be very clean and still have skin breakdown. Even one bladder or bowel accident can cause problems.

Everyone's skin is different. It seems incredibly obvious but it's important to understand that what works for one person can be a disaster for another. Some suffer from overly dry skin while others can't get rid of the moisture fast enough.

I am going to suggest some skincare products and a few techniques that have worked wonders for me. Believe me, I've tried every expensive ointment and cream out there. For the most part, the cheaper and familiar brands have turned out to be the best.

Basic Skincare

First and foremost, inspect your skin thoroughly every day. Have your personal care assistant or spouse take a look at all your parts. If you're shy and are able then get a mirror and do it yourself.

Keep your skin as clean and dry as possible. Find a soap that works gently with the peritoneal area (your down there). I use Castile soap. I have been told that it is too harsh but it works for me. Ivory and most other very mild soaps that you would use for a baby or sensitive skin should do the trick. RINSE. RINSE. RINSE.

Be Proactive

Invest in a small fan.  Use it morning and evening for just a few minutes.  Make sure the air stays cool and gentle.  To be truly useful, it must hit everything.  Pull open any folds or wrinkles in your skin.  Lie down and pull your legs up if need be.  Yes, you may feel silly but it beats weeks of down time waiting for something to heal.

In a pinch, I've been known to use a hair dryer set on cool.  I know some favor heat lamps but I am shy of them.  I certainly would never use one without a doctor's recommendation and constant supervision.  Blisters and burns are no fun especially ones THERE.

Your Bottom Needs to See the Light of Day From Time to Time

I don’t mean that you need to sun the skin on your backside. A sun lamp would be dangerous as well. What I do mean is that you should go without underpants sometimes. After a bath, sit wide open. We in the south call it “letting your skin air.” If you are bedridden then lie on your side with nothing over your bottom half.

Many, many problems can be avoided by changing the weight on your skin. Do pressure releases by changing your position often. This will release moisture and heat. It will also encourage blood flow.

When You Have a Problem

Skin breakdowns can be caused by many things and what can work for one breakdown may not work for another type of breakdown.  Learn about your body.  For instance, I will treat a blister differently than a rash.

The wound clinic I attended suggested using calmoseptine ointment on damaged skin. It works very well as it contains calamine and zinc oxide. The stuff is bright pink and very sticky. Over time, it can dry your skin out. Watch for flaking. This stuff is pretty inexpensive. You can get it online and at Costco.

The old fashioned A & D ointment as well as almost any type of Desitin will offer good skin protection from moisture while letting your skin heal.

I use a combination of ointments depending on the severity of the problem. I would suggest experimentation here. They are all pretty cheap.

Shop online or at a discount store for the best prices. Insurance usually does not cover this.

One Last Treatment

I have had tremendous results using essential oils. I’m not going to go into too much detail here. It takes some study to make your own skin oils for healing. You must be very careful when using these oils on damaged skin.

I generally use a combination of carrier oils suited to skin care along with lavender, most of the chamomile family, tea tree, Helichrysum and a few others. I would not recommend this avenue unless you are prepared to commit some time to learn how to do it properly.

Start with the link at the bottom of this hub.

Prevent Bed Sores

A Final Note

My skin problems have all been on the minor end of the scale. I have been paralyzed for over thirty years and have never missed a day of work due to skin problems. (I am not counting the third degree burn I got from a Volkswagen floor heater that required a skin graft.) There is no question that a serious breakdown must be seen by a doctor.

These suggestions are meant to help the individual stop problems before they happen and to treat the minor ones before they become major ones.

I would love to hear what you use for skin breakdowns. Leave a comment below.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Hayle 3 years ago

      Hey, you're the goto extper. Thanks for hanging out here.

    • profile image

      Martha Franco 8 years ago

      Very interesting article, and relevant for even those who ARE mobile. I'm thinking especially of an elderly aunt who doesn't move around much--not that she CAN"T--she just doesn't.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)