Incontinence Associated Dermatitis

Understanding Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis

Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is skin damage associated with exposure to urine or stool. It causes considerable discomfort and can be difficult, time consuming and expensive to treat. IAD can also be known as as perineal dermatitis and diaper rash and is included in a lot of broader skin conditions groups.

Facts On Incontinence

  • Acute Care Stats Image
  • Up to


    of all patients in Acute Care have incontinence2

  • IAD Stat Image


  • Up to


    of all incontinent patients in Acute Care have IAD2

IAD Hero

Once IAD occurs there is a high risk for pressure ulcer development3,4

It is important to look for risk factors that can lead to skin problems such as pressure ulcers.

  • What Is IAD Image


  • Stages of Pressure Ulcer Development
    • Stage 1: Intact skin with a localized area of non-blanchable erythema.
    • Stage 2: Partial-thickness loss of skin with exposed dermis. The wound bed is viable, pink or red and moist. May appear as an intact or ruptured serum-filled blister.
    • Stage 3: Full-thickness loss of skin. Fat is visible in the ulcer. Granulation tissue and rolled edges are often present. Slough and or eschar as well as undermining and tunneling may be present.
    • Stage 4: Full-thickness skin and tissue loss with exposed or directly palpable fascia, muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage or bone in the ulcer. Slough and/or eschar (rolled edges), undermining and/or tunneling often occur.
    • Unstageable: Full-thickness skin and tissue loss in which the extent of tissue damage within the ulcer cannot be confirmed because it is obscured by slough or eschar.
    • Suspected Deep Tissue Injury: Intact or non-intact skin with localized area of persistent non-blanchable deep red, maroon, purple discoloration or epidermal separation revealing a dark wound bed or blood filled blister5

Incontinence Associated-Dermatitis Severity Categorization4

  • At Risk
    At Risk

    No redness and skin intact


    Skin is normal as compared to rest of body (no signs of IAD)

  • Category 1
    Category 1

    Red** but skin intact (mild)



    With or Without Edema

  • Category 2
    Category 2

    Red** with skin breakdown (moderate –severe)


    Similar to Category 1

    With or Without Vesicles / bullae / skin erosion

    With or Without Denudation of skin

    With or Without Skin infection

Implement a Structured Skin Care Regimen

  • Wounds International Partnership
  • 3M partnered with Wounds International to bring together the first international group of experts on IAD
  • Introducing Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis: Moving Prevention Forward

    The Best Practice Principles document captures global expert panel recommendation of advancing skin care and tools to develop a structed skin care regimen.

    Download Now


Two Key Pathways for Prevention and Management of IAD 4


Manage Incontinence
  • • Assess and treat reversible causes


  • • Optimize nutrition, fluid management and toileting techniques


  • • Implement pressure ulcer prevention plan


Implement a structured skin care regimen
  • Cavilon Cleanse Dermatitis
    • Can be sprayed directly on skin or damp cloth
    • No-rinse formula for effective, gentle cleansing
    • Will moisturize, condition and soothe skin plus help manage odour
    • Compatible with Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG)
  • Cavilon Protect Dermatitis
    • Concentrated so only a small amount is required to protect skin
    • Moisturizes and soothes
    • Does not interfere with adhesion of tapes & dressings
    • Resists wash-off
    • Compatible with CHG
  • Cavilon Restore Dermatitis
    • Provides up to 72 hours of incontinence protection
    • Will not interfere with skin or wound healing
    • Allows for visualization and monitoring of skin at risk for breakdown
    • Compatible with CHG

A variety of 3M™ Cavilon™ Products.

3M™ Cavilon™ Skin Care Products

Cavilon™ brand products were designed to help:

  • Simplify your skin care regimen
  • Maintain and support skin integrity
  • Provide comfort and convenience to residents and families

Learn More

  • 3MSM Health Care Academy

    3MTM Health Care Academy

    The 3MTM Health Care Academy offers online content free of charge to professionals. Manage your own training, test your knowledge, and receive certificates for completing courses. Register now.

About 3M Health Care

You can trust the full line of Cavilon™ Skin Care products to provide simple, soothing relief for vulnerable skin. Cavilon brand products can help prevent skin damage and protect the skin affected by incontinence, chronic wounds, ostomy, diabetes, and adhesive trauma. The 3M™ Cavilon™ brand of products include barriers, creams, ointments and lotions; cleansers, barrier films and cleansing wipes.

A doctor wearing a stethoscope, speaking with a patient.

Get the answers you need.

Contact a representative
  1. Doughty D, Junkin J, Kurz P et al. Incontinence-associated dermatitis. Consensus statements, evidence-based guidelines for prevention and treatment, current challenges. J WOCN 2012; 39(3): 303-15.
  2. Gray M, Bartos S. Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis in the Acute Care Setting: A Prospective Multi-Site Epidemiological Study. Presented at theSymposium on Advanced Wound Care. May 2013.
  3. Beeckman D, Van Lancker A, Van Hecke A, Verhaeghe S. A systematic review and meta-analysis of incontinence-associated dermatitis, incontinence, and moisture as risk factors for pressure ulcer development. Res Nurse Health 2014;37:204-18.
  4. Beeckman D et al. Proceedings of the Global IAD Expert Panel. Incontinence associated dermatitis: moving prevention forward. Wounds international 2015
  5. National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel. Pressure ulcer stages revised by NPUAP [online] 2007 Feb [cited 2016 May]. Available from Internet.