It might be awkward to do, but keeping someone you care for clean is essential. Poor hygiene can cause discomfort, skin complaints and infections, and can lower self-esteem. In this video learn how to wash their private areas in a respectful and effective way.
If you’re watching this video, you’ve probably found yourself in the position of having to wash someone else’s genital areas. This isn’t something we talk about a lot, and you might have a lot of questions.
Washing someone’s genitals is the most important part of their personal care as it will help prevent infection and help them stay healthy. Even though it’s the most important, it can also be really awkward.
In this video, we’ll explain it in some easy to follow steps to help you feel more confident and comfortable.
Let’s try it!
First, let’s gather the supplies we’ll need.
Some disposable gloves
You can either use two bowls, one for soapy water and one for clean water along with washcloths or you can use special wipes made for cleaning private areas.
The special wipes can usually be warmed in the microwave and you don’t have to rinse the person’s skin afterward. The wipes also have a barrier cream built in to help protect their skin.
You might also need to get any prescription or barrier creams that your healthcare provider has recommended
There are few things to remember before we clean someone’s genital areas
If you notice any sores, red areas, or rashes it could be a sign of infection, let their healthcare provider know if you notice any of these issues.
Most of all, feeling nervous or embarrassed is okay. Try turning on a TV or radio to help distract the person you’re caring for and make the task a little less uncomfortable.
Now we’ll start.
Let’s wash our hands and then put on some gloves.
To help make this more comfortable, keep the person you’re caring for as covered as possible.
Let’s go over how to wash the vulva and vaginal areas first
Start by uncovering their genitals, keeping their upper body covered. Using warm soapy water on a washcloth or a disposable wipe, separate the labia and wipe in a downward motion from top to bottom.
Continue to do this until all folds have been washed, using a clean part of the cloth each time.
If you are using soapy water to wash, rinse with clean water and pat dry with a clean cloth or towel
Next, help them turn on their side away from you and bend their knee up.
Using a fresh cloth, wash from the vagina to the anus in one motion, discard the cloth and rinse with water and a clean cloth in the same motion.
Pat dry and apply any prescription, barrier creams, briefs or pads needed.
Unless the person that you’re caring for is incontinent and feces has soiled the area, you don’t need to wash inside the vagina. Washing with soap inside the vagina can cause infection.
If the person you’re caring for has a penis, we’d use the same supplies.
Using warm soapy water on a washcloth or a disposable cloth, wash the penis from tip to base using a circular motion.
You will have to gently pull back the foreskin and wash, rinse and pat this area dry too.
Never force the foreskin down and always pull the foreskin back into place after it’s cleaned
If the person you’re caring for doesn’t have a foreskin, you do not need to worry about this.
Gently wash the area around the base of the penis and around the scrotum, rinse if needed and pat dry.
After rolling them onto their side and bending their knee, wash from behind the scrotum to the anus. With a clean cloth, rinse with water in the same motion.
Pat dry and apply any prescription or barrier creams, briefs or pads needed.
Sometimes people can get aroused while their genitals are being cleaned. It’s totally normal and it’s not something they can control. If it happens, try not to bring attention to it. You can try to distract them, clean another area or just step out of the room for a few minutes before you finish their care.
Washing someone’s genitals is one of those tasks that no one enjoys, but the fact that you can do it shows just how strong you are!
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