Definition of IAD
Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) describes skin damage associated with exposure to urine or faeces. It causes patients significant discomfort and can be difficult and time-consuming to treat1. It is a significant health challenge and a well documented risk factor for pressure ulcer development2.
The exact size of the challenge for HCPs and patients is hard to define. This is due partly to inconsistencies in terminology, and difficulties in recognising the condition and distinguishing it from Category I/II pressure ulcers in diagnosis: all of which have subsequently resulted in less than robust data collection. This is compounded by the lack of a nationally recognised, validated and accepted method for IAD data collection, which adds to the wide variation in prevalence and incidence figures.
Studies have estimated prevalence of IAD at 5.6% to 50%3-7 while reported incidence varies from 3.4% to 25%8-10.
Patients with IAD may experience discomfort, pain, burning, itching and tingling in affected areas, even when the dermis is intact. In addition to physical symptoms, patients may feel loss of independence, disruption to activities and/or sleep and reduced quality of life that becomes worse as the frequency and quantity of soiling increases. They may also feel/believe they are a burden on family and friends.