Skin care products increasingly used to comfort skilled nursing facility residents
As providers seek ways to prevent pressure ulcers and keep incontinent residents at ease in their skilled nursing facilities, skin care products have become more prominently in use. 
Manufacturers continually roll out new products in the hopes of providing further protection and effectiveness for their customers.
When evaluating current trends in the skin care product market, long-term care clinicians generally show preference to lotions, creams and gels that do not contain alcohol.
“Products with alcohol tend to dry the resident’s skin, which in many cases is already frail. Therefore, the use of alcohol solutions is typically frowned upon,” explained J. Hudson Garrett Jr., Ph.D., senior director of clinical affairs for PDI Healthcare. “Yet, there are certainly certain barrier creams and ointments that have value, especially in the prevention of decubitus ulcerations [pressure ulcers].”
Diane Heasley, wound care nurse and president of Caring Directions, agrees the consensus among clinicians is that, “alcohol is a big no-no,” along with petroleum bases that do not allow skin to breathe. In her professional opinion, the best products are fast-absorbing ingredients with water and humectant bases because they “synergize the skin’s natural balance.”
“There are wonderful skin cream washes that also incorporate dimethicone to trap moisture, maintain an acid pH and provide ease of fecal and urine removal,” she said. “Certain scents — baby powder and grapefruit, for example — have led the way in pleasing the olfactory senses because they both are clean scents.”
Heasley believes the wide variety of skin care products on the market creates a dilemma for users, leading to difficulty in decision-making. She estimates the number of skin care products on the market at around 15,000, a number that has tripled since she entered the field 18 years ago.
Garrett agrees with Healey’s assessment.
“This increased number of products can lead to confusion among healthcare providers, particularly those at facilities without a dedicated wound care specialist on staff,” he said. “It is critical to fully evaluate every product label and efficacy claim and to evaluate every product before a full house implementation.”
 Andrews, John. “On the wagon.” McKnight’s Long Term Care News. 9 July 2012. Web.