Skincare basics include cleaning, moisturising and protecting the skin. Historically, this has been done with soap, water and inexpensive, easy-to-obtain products containing petrolatum or mineral oil.
But soap strips and dries out the skin, making it more vulnerable to damage. Today, liquid cleansers containing surfactants are more commonly used and are not only gentler to the epidermis, but are often pH-balanced as well. Moisturisers seal in the body’s hydration and are particularly helpful in areas with low temperatures and humidity, which can dry out the skin. The technical term for this is excessive transepidermal water loss.
When incontinence or wound exudate is an issue, skin barriers and protectants should also be used. These products should be stocked next to your advanced wound care products and incontinence products. They provide a physical barrier between the skin and harmful bodily fluids, and offer protection from breakdown. The most common types of barrier products used within healthcare are silicone-based barrier products, film-forming polymers and cyanoacrylates.