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Clothing, odour control and skin care

This section addresses some other important aspects of managing bladder and bowel symptoms including clothing modifications to enable easier access to body-worn products and toiletting, and products to control odour and manage skin care.

Top Tips

  1. If you are incontinent and use pads 24/7 personal hygiene is essential to avoid unwanted odours. Removal of pubic hair using either creams or by shaving to a smooth bare finish may allow for easier cleansing.
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  3. When starting daytime wetting smaller pads are not noticeable under clothes, but as I began wetting heavily with full bladder loss I need to wear large disposable pads and then terry diapers with a soaker pad and waterproof plastic pants. The increased bulk was noticeable beneath outer clothes. Gradually increase the capacity and size of pads and nappies over a period of months, moving up a clothes size so friends and family are unaware of any sudden change in body image due to the diapers.
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  5. I had embarrassing moments due to clothing. Climbing down from a loft ladder at work. My shirt snagged and pulled up to reveal the top of my incontinence pad and plastic pants above the waist of my trousers in plain view of the client. On another occasion bending down to tie my shoe in a shop and heard a parson remark on my plastic pants and nappy where my short had ridden up at the back. Choose shirts that are long in the body to tuck in well, onesies have press-stud crotch to prevent ride up.
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  7. Plastic waterproof pants can be slightly crinkly when first put on until they soften with body heat. Try keeping them in the airing cupboard. They may also last longer this way with reduced risk of splits and tears.
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  9. Singlet-like bodysuits or “onesies” are great for holding pads in place, they also prevent pads sticking out of your trousers when bending or stretching.
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  11. Cut old towels up into small squares and take one for each day with you when travelling. You can then thoroughly clean yourself and throw them away.
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  13. I suffer from Crohn's disease and have the occasional'accident'. I have access to a food vacuum sealing machine and put a few medicated wipes, toilet paper, spare underpants in small plastic bags and then vacuum seal the lot inside the usual sleeving. The resultant package is about 6" x 4" x 0.5" and slips inside a coat pocket. I also keep one in the car
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  15. To help prevent skin problems, wash and dry thoroughly and try not to use an absorbent pad when you can – put on a dressing gown after showering to help skin dry naturally
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  17. I find antifungal soaps/cleansers helpful in controlling skin irritations, also medicated powder.
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  19. Using spandex type shorts will enable you to limit the noise from any brief or incontinence product and support said product close to your body
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  21. Singlet-like bodysuits or “onesies” - vêtementet très confortable, idéale pour le maintient des couches incontinence,
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  23. Swimwear, especially containment swim briefs, can be occasionally soaked in Borax (inexpensive and found in the laundry aisle) between regular washings to remove any lingering odour. Then just rewash and hang to dry.
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  25. To avoid odours, don’t keep used pads indoors. They always smell and the smell gets worse with time. Double bagging makes little difference. And, once established the smell lingers. The effort to take each used pad immediately outside is well worth it.
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Continence Product Advisor

Incontinence can often be cured. Incontinence is a problem with one or more underlying causes that can often be cured or improved. Whatever your age seeking help is always advisable. Take the first step to getting help by contacting a health professional or continence organisation in your country.

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