Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Skin Integrity

  • Protect skin from excessive moisture and incontinence to maintain skin integrity:
    • Monitor fluid intake to ensure adequate hydration;
    • Use a pH balanced, non-sensitizing skin cleanser with warm water for cleansing;
    • Minimizing force and friction during care (e.g. use a soft wipe or spray cleanser);
    • Maintain skin hydration by applying moisturizing agents that are non-sensitizing, pH balanced, fragrance free and/or alcohol free;
    • Use topical protective barriers to protect skin from moisture. Avoid ingredients and excess application of products that may compromise the absorptive capacity of the incontinent brief;
    • Use protective barriers (e.g. liquid barrier films, transparent films, hydrocolloids) or protective padding to reduce friction injuries;
    • If skin irritation persists due to moisture, consult with advanced practice nurses and/or with the appropriate interdisciplinary team for evaluation and topical treatment; and/or
    • Establish a bowel and bladder program.
Clinical Management
Risk Assessment and Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
Point of Care Resources