Care For Your Bedwetting Child’s Skin by Jan Nicholas
Bedwetting has few serious side effects, but one of the physical discomforts it may cause is skin problems. Urine is a mix of fluid and waste chemicals from the body. When left on skin for a few hours in the night, it can irritate. Skin may appear red initially, and may turn sore and flaky if the skin is not treated. The skin will also thicken if the irritation is not treated, eventually turning wrinkled and pale. Although not dangerous, this type of skin irritation can be very painful for a child.
Skin problems can affect any child who wets the bed, but the problem is more aggravated in those who wet the bed often and in those who wear absorbent products to collect the urine. Genitals and buttocks can be affected. In those who wear absorbent underpants, the leg bands and waist bands are often the most irritated.
Once bedwetting is resolved, the rash and skin irritation it causes will disappear as well. Until your child has stopped wetting the bed, though, you can try to reduce the skin irritation the problem causes. To prevent skin rashes and soreness:
• Make sure the child washes each morning, especially after a “wet” night. The skin affected by the area should be especially well washed using a mild and moisturizing soap.
• Encourage your child to rinse the buttocks and genital area when changing absorbent underpants and after waking up after having wet the bed.
• Use a very soft sponge – not a harsh washcloth – on any irritated skin area
• Some parents find that applying petroleum ointment to affected areas and areas affected by urine is helpful
• Choose correct-fitting absorbent undergarments, if your child uses them. Make sure that the waist band and the leg bands are not too snug. Choose the most absorbent type you can and look for a brand that offers a top layer that keeps moisture away from the skin.
• Talk to your pediatrician if skin irritation continues. He or she may be able to offer a medicated cream to soothe sore skin.