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MEDIA RELEASE 02 December

International Professor has solution for incontinence related skin conditions
Professor Hans Smola from Cologne University and medical director for HARTMANN International, has highlighted the role of the pH levels of skin in the prevention of incontinence related skin conditions.

At the 19th National Conference on Incontinence, held recently in Alice Springs and run by the Continence Foundation of Australia, Professor Smola, a keynote speaker, presented on 'Prevention and therapeutic strategies for incontinence related dermatitis'. His study investigated 'Incontinence associated dermatitis' (IAD), an inflammatory skin disease that usually occurs after prolonged skin contact with urine and faeces and often by the use of detergents when cleaning the skin.

Professor Smola created substantial interest amongst the delegates attending the conference when he shared his findings on the significance of the pH balance of elderly skin when dealing with incontinence related skin conditions.

The findings show that urine can challenge the acid mantle of the skin. This results in an alteration of the skin's bacterial flora and the potential for pathogenic bacteria or yeasts to start to grow. It also means that desquamation (the renewal process) of the skin becomes defective.

Smola said ageing skin was also a key factor in incontinence associated dermatitis due to the diminishing of the skins natural restoration process and inability to form a protective barrier against bacteria.

Smola's breakthrough findings are changing the nature and procedures of incontinence management and skin care within the aged care sector.

Professor Smola identified the solutions for common skin problems in incontinent patients as being:

1. Skin care regimens that reduce the occurrence of incontinence associated dermatitis, such as cleanser and moisture barrier cream three times per week (Menalind products)
2. Minimising the insult of urine and faecal skin contact through advanced continence pad design and development, such as breathable non woven side panels which allow maximum air and moisture permeability

"The use of products such as the Menalind skin care range, as opposed to common emollient alternatives, are essential when treating and preventing IAD. The skin care should be combined with advanced pad design that incorporate features such as breathable side panels and the curly fibre used in HARTMANN products that actually maintains the natural pH level of the skin," he added.

About HARTMANN

HARTMANN supplies healthcare professionals and at home consumers with clinically-researched and developed medical and healthcare products in Australia and New Zealand.

HARTMANN Australia is a subsidiary of leading international medical and healthcare company, The HARTMANN Group, established in 1818. The wholly owned subsidiary was established in January 2003 after a period of more than 40 years supplying the market through distributors. The group has 9,000 employees worldwide with global revenue totalling EUR1.6bn in 2009.

For more information on Hartmann and its products and services, visit www.hartmann.com.au or call 1800 805 839.

Released for HARTMANN by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations (www.drpr.com.au)
For further information please call Gill Asbury or Nicola Rutzou on (02) 9413 4244.

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