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Gray M, Black JM, Baharestani MM Moisture-associated skin damage: overview and pathophysiology. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2011; 38:(3)233-341

Irwin DE, Milsom I, Kopp Z, Abrams P, Cardozo L. Impact of overactive bladder symptoms on employment, social interactions and emotional well-being in six European countries. BJU Int. 2006; 97:(1)96-100

Irwin DE, Kopp ZS, Agatep B, Milsom I, Abrams P. Worldwide prevalence estimates of lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, urinary incontinence and bladder outlet obstruction. BJU Int. 2011; 108:(7)1132-1138

McNichol L, Ayello E, Phearman L, Pezzella PA, Culver EA. Incontinence-associated dermatitis: state of the science and knowledge translation. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2018; 31:(11)502-513

‘IAD Made Easy’. 2017. (accessed 29 April 2019)

Caring for patients with urinary incontinence-associated dermatitis

09 May 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 9

Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is a vastly underestimated and under-researched problem that affects millions of people. Globally, urinary incontinence is estimated to affect 423 million people (Irwin et al, 2011), 3–6 million of whom reside in the UK (Irwin et al, 2006). Skin irritation and breakdown are common sequelae, where IAD resulting from urine leakage inflicts a further significant toll in terms of human suffering and economic burden.

So why doesn't IAD attract the same resources as pressure area care? The research, assessment tools and education are all at our disposal, and now is the time to galvanise our efforts for better skin care for those affected.

IAD has been described by Gray et al (2011) as ‘… irritant dermatitis that develops from chronic exposure to urine … attributable to multiple factors, including chemical irritants within the moisture source, its pH, mechanical factors such as friction, and associated microorganisms’.

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