An adult diaper or adult pull up might leak for several reasons, but it may not be why you think. See these three most common reasons for adult diaper leakage and how to prevent them:
1. The size is too large. Many people assume that a larger diaper has more of the absorbent fabric, which leads to greater absorbency. This is not true. Each adult diaper, adult pull up, shield, liner and pad is designed for a specific absorbency regardless of its size. Whether it’s extra small or extra large, a maximum-absorbency adult diaper can easily handle more than 16 ounces of fluid while still keeping the wearer’s skin dry and comfortable. If necessary, a well-designed adult diaper can absorb up to a half gallon of liquid.
A diaper should fit snugly, but not uncomfortably. If the diaper is too large for the wearer, gaps between the skin and the diaper can occur – and liquid can escape through the gaps. Are you wearing the right size? See this Incontinence Product Sizing Guide.
2. The leg seal is broken. Liquid will always find the path of least resistance. Diapers absorb fast – some absorb very fast. But no matter how fast a diaper absorbs, if there is a gap between the diaper and the legs, liquid can escape before being absorbed. The diaper’s leg elastic should be in smooth contact with the skin all the way around both legs – this is called the leg seal.
This can happen even in a diaper that is the right size and fit. Sometimes during a change, leg ruffles can get tucked underneath the elastic seal. One simple way to ensure a smooth seal after each change is to lightly run your finger underneath the elastic around both legs.
3. Inserts are preventing absorbency. No-one wants to risk a leak, which is why some people feel more secure with an additional liner or pad inside the adult diaper. Unfortunately, this can prevent the diaper or pull-up from absorbing properly, leading to discomfort and leakage. Most liners and pads are designed with a waterproof poly (plastic) backing that secures into underwear with a sticky strip. When these liners are inserted into an adult diaper, the plastic backing prevents the diaper from absorbing properly. Instead of having the security of a maximum-absorbency diaper, the wearer now has the absorbency of just the liner. In addition, the saturated liner can create pressure against the skin, increasing the risk of skin breakdown.
There are some exceptions to this rule. A few inserts are specifically designed to be worn as extra protection inside adult diapers or protective underwear. These inserts are designed without a poly back, and do not prevent diaper absorption. However, the risk of skin damage from liner pressure is still increased. In most cases, an additional liner is not recommended, as it increases risk of leakage and skin breakdown.
Click here to see our Recommended Adult Diapers and Pullups