Microorganisms that are responsible for infections are called pathogens. Pathogens thrive in environments that are warm and moist. It is important to provide good perineal care to clients and loved ones. Before providing perineal care during a bed or sponge bath, it is IMPORTANT TO CHANGE THE WATER AND USE CLEAN WASH CLOTHS. One washcloth should be used to clean and one to rinse. Always clean the female perineum from front to back.
With each stroke, you must change the area of the wash cloth. If the area is not changed, you can actually bring bacteria from the skin to the urinary opening, increasing the risk for a UTI. For a male, clean around the urinary opening in a circular motion being careful not to bring bacteria from the skin into the urinary opening. Dry the perineal area well with a clean, dry towel.
If the person you are caring for is incontinent, change the wet garment or underwear in a timely manner. Encourage fluids if that is on the plan of care.