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Cleanser

SKIN CLEANSERS

Solutions used to remove urine, feces, contaminants, foreign debris, and exudate from the skin.  They are mild cleansing agents that minimize irritation and dryness of the skin. During the cleansing process, the skin should be treated gently. Cleansers used to remove soils should be pH balanced to the skin. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. You can help preserve the skin by using a no-rinse cleanser and a moisture barrier that helps keep moisture out. Furthermore, no-rinse cleansers provide cost-effective cleansing care for those patients who are incontinent.  Bowel (fecal) incontinence irritates the surrounding skin (perineum) more than urinary incontinence does. That’s because feces contain bacteria and digestive enzymes that can seriously damage the skin. The combined effects of urinary and fecal incontinence are more damaging to the skin than either one alone. When soiling does occur, the skin should be gently cleansed to remove the irritating material left by the urine or feces.  Body washes and shampoos should have a pH between 4 and 7. The pH is especially important for elderly patients whose skin is dry, more likely to crack, and slower to recover from the effects of cleansing with a product that causes the skin to become alkaline. Additionally, the right skin cleanser can rinse away unwanted microorganisms and preserve the skin’s ability to act as a natural barrier. When bathing the patient, avoid hot water and use a mild cleansing agent that does not cause irritation and dryness of the skin.