Bathing & Hygiene Top Tips: Caring for a Senior’s Skin


The forum is filled with people coming together to share valuable information. We’ve compiled experienced caregivers’ best tips and suggestions for maintaining skin integrity and health.

Preventing Skin Irritation and Damage

“Seniors have thinner, more delicate skin, and incontinence and a sedentary lifestyle can easily lead to skin breakdown. If incontinence is an issue, your loved one’s doctor can put you in touch with a specialized continence care nurse who can help you with all of the related stuff too, such as skin integrity checks and best practices for maintaining good hygiene. It’s best to get a good grip on all of this early on. You’ll have a much better chance of avoiding more serious problems like urinary tract infections and pressure sores further down the line.” –countrymouse

“I like ConvaTec Aloe Vista Protective Ointment 3. It works great to create a moisture barrier and protect the skin.” –judypanama

“Try old-fashioned corn starch for irritated, damp areas. I used it on my babies for diaper rash, and my husband used to get rashes on his thighs during the summer from sweat. Corn starch will clear it up fast.” –Sandra93

“Balmex is great for skin irritation and available at most drug stores.” –somonago

“Find a 99 percent gel of aloe vera to put on the skin. It is natural, healing, cooling and non-toxic. I bought mine at Sprouts supermarket. I also use a great deal of Arnicare, which contains arnica montana. It’s a homeopathic cream, which is great for bruises and healing itching skin. (You can buy this at Walmart.) Be sure to not scrub a senior’s skin with a washcloth, as it could tear the skin.” –ferris1

“Try Boudreau’s butt paste. It can be found in most diaper rash/baby areas of stores. It’s actually zinc oxide. It was recommended by one of the caregivers in the AgingCare Forum, and it works wonders!” –ramblinrosey

“Every time I take my mother to the restroom or change her diapers, I gently wipe her down with a damp cloth with baby oil on it. In the evening before I put her last diaper on before bed, I clean with the baby oil and then apply Vaseline on the top of the thigh areas and the buttocks. She has never had a rash or dry skin in the last 3 years.” –lifeexperiences

“I use Coloplast’s Sween Cream and Moisture Barrier Cream. They’re a little pricy but the products best I’ve found. They also have a cream that is anti-fungal. I buy them on Amazon.” –Bobbins

“In between showers, I rub down Mom’s body with Simple brand exfoliating wipes, followed by an all-over lube job with a nice oil such as argan. I especially like L’Oreal Age Perfect Glow Renewal because it’s absorbed well and has a light scent. Then on Mom’s calves and other especially dry spots, I massage in O’Keeffe’s Working Hands cream.” –Gigi11

“I have found that Desitin or an equivalent works best to treat and prevent diaper rash. However, if a stage 1 or 2 pressure sore is present, use A&D ointment on that spot instead.” –mscoulter

“I recommend Medline Remedy lotions/creams. The Phytoplex Skin Protectant Paste is great for rashes caused by urine or stool. Also, the Remedy Olivamine Skin Repair cream was recommended to me by the doctor at a wound care clinic to help my mom with skin tears. It is the best lotion I’ve ever used. Smells good too.” –teaka123

“Our home health nurse recommended Calmoseptine. It’s an over-the-counter cream. It worked like a charm!” –Questioning

“If your loved one has any chemical sensitivities (and a lot of older people do), it is best to stay away from any artificial fragrances and ingredients. Try organic coconut oil. It is simple and very effective. Or, visit a good health food store and ask about lotions that are all natural.” –oceansong

Ashley Huntsberry-Lett

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Ashley is responsible for the planning and creation of’s award-winning content. As a teenager, she assisted in caring for her step-father during his three-year battle with colon cancer. Now, through her work at, she strives to inform and empower the caregivers who devote so much to helping and healing the ones they love.

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