Incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) is a common problem in patients with faecal and/or urinary incontinence. Urine alters the normal skin flora and increases permeability of the stratum corneum and faecal enzymes on the skin contribute to skin damage. Faecal bacteria can then penetrate the skin, increasing the risk of secondary infection. However, IAD can be prevented and healed with timely and appropriate skin cleansing and skin protection. This includes appropriate use of containment devices. This article also looks at HARTMANN incontinence pads that have been developed to absorb the fluids that cause IAD and maintain the skin's acidic pH. The acidic pH of the skin contributes to its barrier function and defence against infection. Therefore, maintaining an acidic pH will help protect the skin from damage.