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Dermatological examinations for incontinence products

Incontinence products, such as pads, diapers or disposable pants, are used for both urinary and fecal incontinence. Prolonged exposure causes the skin to be moist for a long time and can therefore soften. In medicine, the softening of a tissue, due to prolonged contact with fluid, is called maceration. Incontinence products aim to prevent maceration and the resulting barrier damage to the skin.

SGS proderm has developed a method that quantifies the maceration properties of incontinence products in-vivo on the skin. In addition, other methods are available for investigating the properties of incontinence products. Both absorbency and fluid retention play a major role in relation to the skin barrier, pH, and overall skin tolerance and safety of incontinence products. Furthermore, wearing comfort and handling are important for consumer acceptance.


studies conducted


volunteers enrolled

Study types

We offer different types of studies for the investigation of incontinence products. Our maceration model is one of them and can be studied over several days on the forearms of study participants. After a baseline determination of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), dressings are applied occlusively and soaked with artificial exudate or urine. Over a series of days, transepidermal water loss is determined before dressings are reapplied and soaked with artificial exudate or urine.

Additional information on the degree of swelling and barrier status can be obtained by measuring stratum corneum thickness. Various methods are available to determine these parameters, such as Raman spectroscopy, confocal microscopy, 3D profilometry, and others.

In addition to the above-mentioned study types, incontinence products can also be evaluated by means of the following investigations:

  • Use test with dermatological evaluation to determine skin compatibility
  • Compatibility test in 3 x 24 hour patch test
  • Measurement of water loss during loading with artificial exudate/urine
  • pH-value measurement of the skin

Furthermore, SGS proderm offers the methods wound healing and occlusion models for the research of experimental wounds.


  • Inserts
  • Diapers
  • Disposable pants

Related topics

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