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Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis: Diagnosis and Treatment ​ 

Author: Kirsty Mahoney
Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) presents as inflammation and/or disruption of skin integrity as a result of faecal or urinary incontinence, or a combination of both. IAD can cause significant discomfort and have a negative impact on patient quality of life. It is largely preventable, and is often mistaken for category II pressure damage. However, prevention and treatment strategies for these two conditions are very different and misdiagnosis may lead to inappropriate treatment and management. Early identification of patients who may be at risk and introduction of preventative measures to reduce the potential for skin damage should be an integral part of assessment for any patient with incontinence issues. This article seeks to assist in understanding the aetiology of IAD and how incontinence can affect skin integrity, identifying patients at risk and clinical presentation of IAD. A structured patient assessment and introduction of skin care regimens which include prevention, protection, repair and restoration should be an essential part of managing and preventing IAD.