The groin area needs careful cleaning to prevent rashes and infections. Rashes are most likely to form in moist areas where skin touches skin, such as the folds of the groin and on the chest and stomach. For a larger-sized person, other areas of concern are the folds on the neck, arms, inner elbows, legs, behind the knees, and between the toes. Daily cleaning can help prevent these problems.
If you are helping someone with their daily cleaning, try to be relaxed. Helping someone clean their groin area can be embarrassing for both of you. If you are calm and don't seem embarrassed, the person may feel more comfortable.
Rashes in the groin and anal areas can be caused by several things. A yeast or bacterial infection can cause a rash. So can irritation from problems with bladder or bowel control. Protective underwear also can cause rashes or irritate the skin. Or a person may be allergic to the scents in the material.
People who have certain health problems, such as diabetes, may be at extra risk for infections because of a weakened ability to fight infections.
To help prevent rashes:
Treatment at home often helps rashes go away. If the person you are caring for develops a rash in the groin area, here are some things you can do to help treat it:
Allow the person to do as much of the cleaning as possible. Give the person privacy if they are safe to be alone. In some cases, you will need to do the bathing.
When you are cleaning someone's groin area, explain what you are doing. Let the person know that you're making sure they don't have rashes. And only uncover the area that you're cleaning. This may help the person feel more comfortable.
Wash and dry your hands well before you begin. You don't have to wear gloves, but it might be a good idea if the person has had diarrhea. And it's a good idea to wear a mask if you or the person has an illness that can spread, such as a cold or the flu.
Give the person a washcloth with soap on it for cleaning. Offer another warm, damp washcloth for rinsing. If you are doing the washing, be gentle. Don't rub the skin. Also, don't use moisturizers in these areas where skin touches skin.
To clean the male groin area:
To clean the female groin area:
A person who has dementia may become confused or may forget how to clean without help. In a calming voice, explain one step at a time what to do. A person who has more advanced dementia will need you to do the cleaning. Explain what you are doing.
In some cases, the person may be upset or try to fight you. Don't force them to clean. Try again at another time. Pick a time when they are most rested and calm.
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