Maintaining skin health - foods and products
When you bask in warm sunshine, your skin helps you enjoy that sensation. When someone holds your hand, hugs you or gives you a massage, your skin helps you sense their touch. And when you encounter germs or irritating chemicals, your skin mounts the first line of defence to protect you.
Skin integrity is a term that refers to your skin being strong and healthy – or ‘a sound and complete structure in unimpaired condition’ to quote one researcher.1
That’s particularly important when you live with incontinence. When your skin is regularly exposed to urine and faeces and to more frequent cleaning, its integrity can be compromised.
So, how can you maintain healthy skin? By considering both what you put into your body and what you put onto your skin. Here are some tips.
From the inside out
Like your other organs, really, your skin’s health is influenced by your lifestyle. If you’d like better skin, then your diet is an important consideration.
Reduce inflammatory foods
Some foods are known to cause persistent, low-level inflammation, which can express itself in skin conditions such as dermatitis.2
Inflammatory foods and drinks include:3
Refined carbohydrates like white bread and pastries
Red and processed meats
Eat a Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet promotes good health and reduces inflammation because it is high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and processed foods.
Foods to eat for healthier skin include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Oily fish
- Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach
Such foods are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, which help build important skin proteins.
Good sleep supports many aspects of your health and well-being, including your skin. Persistently poor sleep affects your skin’s appearance and reduces its all-important barrier function.6
If you’re struggling with sleep, talk to your doctor. They may review your medications and provide advice on good sleep habits. They may also explore other potential causes of poor sleep.
From the outside in
Make careful choices about what comes into contact with your skin.
Your skin’s natural pH value is about 4.5-5.5. That’s on the acidic side, helping to maintain the acid mantle – your skin’s protective layer. Water has a neutral pH of about 7 while most soaps are alkaline.
That means washing with soap and water can damage your skin’s protective layer. While that’s true for everyone, it’s particularly problematic if you live with incontinence. Your skin is also experiencing contact with irritants like urine and faeces and needs cleaning more often, meaning there’s more exposure to soap and water. Over time, that may lead to incontinence-associated dermatitis, cause significant discomfort and increase the risk of infection.7
To avoid this situation, you need the right products to manage both the incontinence and your skin health. Focus on finding the right style, absorbency and size when it comes to incontinence products. For skin health, look for products that strengthen your skin’s barrier function, promote regeneration and contain important oils or nutrients.
Skintegrity by MoliCare® is an integrated system of absorbent and skin care products to help maintain healthy skin. Our product range includes:
Pads – these fit inside your underwear
Large pads – these are worn with comfortable cotton fixation pants
Pull-ups – worn instead of normal underwear and easily removed by ripping open at the side
All-in-ones – wrap-style pads with re-closable tabs for easy adjustment and best fit.
Fixation pants – comfortable, washable, reusable pants to be used with large incontinence pads
Men’s products - designed for the male anatomy, for a secure fit and protection
Women’s products - for the female anatomy, to provide a secure fit and protection
Bed mats and rectangular pads - for the protection of bedding and furniture & rectangular pad, suitable for faecal smearing
That’s what we call a win for skin.
This website does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website, is for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
1. Cowdell F, Jadotte YT, Ersser SJ, Danby S, Walton S, Lawton S, Roberts A, Gardiner E, Ware F, Cork M. Hygiene and emollient interventions for maintaining skin integrity in older people in hospital and residential care settings. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 1;2014(12):CD011377. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011377. PMCID: PMC6457898, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457898/, [Accessed 27 June 2023]
2. Practical Dermatology, Diet and inflammation in dermatology, available at https://practicaldermatology.com/articles/2019-may/diet-and-inflammation-in-dermatology, [Accessed 27 June 2023]
3. Harvard Health, Foods that fight inflammation, available at https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation, [Accessed 27 June 2023]
4. Chen L, Deng H, Cui H, Fang J, Zuo Z, Deng J, Li Y, Wang X, Zhao L. Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs. Oncotarget. 2017 Dec 14;9(6):7204-7218. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.23208. PMID: 29467962; PMCID: PMC5805548, available at .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805548/, [Accessed 27 June 2023]
5. Skin Health Institute, Nutrition for healthy skin, available at https://skinhealthinstitute.org.au/healthy-skin-guide/nutrition-for-healthy-skin/, [Accessed on 27 June 2023]
6. Oyetakin-White P, Suggs A, Koo B, Matsui MS, Yarosh D, Cooper KD, Baron ED. Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol. 2015 Jan;40(1):17-22. doi: 10.1111/ced.12455. Epub 2014 Sep 30. PMID: 25266053, available at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/, [Accessed on 27 June 2023]