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, under the breasts, and on the 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. But it can be awkward or embarrassing for the person you're caring for, especially if the person is of the opposite sex. Try to be relaxed. It may help make the person more comfortable. Let the person know that you're making sure he or she doesn't have rashes. Allow the person to do as much of the cleaning as possible. Give the person privacy if he or she is safe alone.
If you are helping, explain what you are doing. Only uncover the area that you're cleaning. This helps maintain the person's modesty.
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.
Let the person wash himself or herself as much as possible. But in some cases, you need to do the bathing.
To clean the groin:
A person who has dementia may become confused or forget how to clean himself or herself. In a calming voice, explain one step at a time what the person should 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 the person to clean. Try again at another time. Pick a time when the person is the most rested and calm.
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