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Perineal Care


Perineal care involves washing the genital and rectal areas of the body. It should be done at least once a day during bed bath, shower, or tub bath. It is done more often when a patient is incontinent. This prevents infection, odors and irritation.

Wash your hands, put on gloves, and maintain privacy and respect, throughout the task.

Perineal care for female patients:

  1. fill the bath basin with clean warm water
  2. position the female patient on their back,
  3. put a protective cover over the bed linen,
  4. separate the labia and wash, rinse and dry the urethral area first with short, downward strokes alternating from side to side and proceed until the exposed area around the urethra is done,
  5. then rinse the cloth or use a new wash-cloth,
  6. wash the groin on the outside of the labia from the front to the back starting from outside of the labia and then going to the inside of the thighs,
  7. then rinse the cloth,
  8. turn the person on their side,
  9. and wash, rinse and dry the rectal area.

Perineal care for male patients:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above
  2. Wash the groin from the front to the back starting at the groin area and then going to the inside of the thighs,
  3. Then rinse the cloth or use a new wash-cloth,
  4. Pull back the foreskin if the patient is not circumcised, wash and rinse the tip of the penis downward while using gentle, circular motions and then the scrotum,
  5. Follow steps 8-9 above

Notes for Dementia Patients

  • Dementia is primarily a disease where the patient loses his or her memory and maybe confused. Take these extra steps to ensure the procedure goes smoothly.
  • Be prepared: People with dementia can become agitated quickly. Have all supplies out and ready.
  • Speak calmly and do not yell.
  • Address the person by name and repeat your name often to reduce feelings of confusion.
  • If the person becomes distressed, stop immediately and find out what is causing the distress. You may have to finish the perineal care at a later time.
Last Review : 28 August 2020
Writer : Dr. George Taye
Reviewer : Dr. Ho Bee Kiau