Incontinence can be a tricky and challenging subject. I'm sure many have noticed that product selection can be difficult at times because there are so many products available with all sorts of different names, terms and acronyms. Sorting through all of this information and trying to understand it can be time consuming especially, when all one is trying to do is simply find what you need and order it.
With this taken into consideration, I have put together a section with some helpful explanations to common terms and names. I hope you will find it useful and intend it to help keep folks informed of what they are purchasing and make your life easier by helping you find exactly what you need.
Lets begin by debunking some common terms associated with incontinence and products:
1. Diaper - Incontinence products are commonly associated with the term "diaper". Although this is the dictionary term for incontinence products, we at Discreet Solutions feel this is a degrading term and therefore we don't use it in relation to products. We want you to maintain your dignity and comfort level, something few people who don't suffer from incontinence understand.
2. Brief - This is the term we prefer to use instead of diaper. A "Brief" is a disposable tabbed product that generally has 2 or 4 attaching tabs to allow for proper fitting, comfort and sizing of the product. Tabbed briefs are generally designed for heavy to severe bladder or bowel incontinence. They come in all styles, colors and shapes, while designed to offer an underwear like fit with maximum protection.
3. Pull-On - A "Pull-On" is commonly known as disposable underwear. Disposable underwear (or disposable protective underwear) is designed to be worn exactly like natural underwear while giving you a form of protection and the flexibility to live daily life as normal. Pull-Ons are also designed to enable one to use the toilet as normal but offers absorbent protection "just in case" of an accident. These products are the most popular form of incontinence product world-wide because they enable one to live a fully active and normal lifestyle.
4. DPU - A short acronym for "Disposable Protective Underwear". Many companies prefer to use this term for packaging discretion and because, well, lets face it, "Disposable Protective Underwear" is a really long term to write on such a small package.
5. Overnight Underwear - Overnight protective underwear is similar to traditional disposable underwear, but usually with added features and absorbency to assist in making your life easier and help you sleep better through the night without worries of leaks.
6. Bariatric Brief - A "Bariatric Brief" is an extra sized product (usually with an elastic tab on each side) that is designed to fit individuals that are bedridden, wheel-chair bound or unable to fit traditional sized disposable briefs.
7. Stretch Brief - "Stretch Briefs" are very similar to normal disposable briefs with the exception of having two large, flexible tabs on each side. Stretch briefs are designed to give a customized fit, maximum absorbency and a flexible wearing style that can bridge the gap between disposable briefs and underwear.
8. Youth Brief - These products are exactly the same as any other disposable tabbed brief but are made in smaller sizes for individuals that are unable to fit in adult sized products. Often times, youth briefs are geared towards older children or individuals with special needs who cannot make fit or make use of a traditional children's diaper as well
9. Chux - "Chux" is another name for disposable underpads that are placed over furniture or bedding for added protection. These protective underpads can be reusable (made from cotton or other materials) or disposable. Chux is also another name for disposable "puppy-pads".
10. Booster - A "Booster" (or booster pad) is a disposable, absorb through insert that fits inside the center of a disposable brief or pull-on. These disposable pads are designed to add absorbency for heavy leakage days or to extend the wearing time of product due to daily activities, works, life, or if one is unable to change the main product frequently enough throughout the day.
11. Odor Guard - This is a common element (often in the form of a powder, granule or material) that is added to the absorbent padding of a product to help reduce ammonia and urine odors.
12. Acquisition Layer - Many manufacturers will add an "Acquisition Layer" to their products. This is a layer of special material that is designed in such a way as to draw wetness and moisture down into the absorbent part of a product. This special layer often helps preserve skin integrity by removing liquid from the surface so it can be trapped and absorbed inside the product.
13. SAP -Short for "Super Absorbent Polymer. This substance is often what gives a product its absorbent properties and capabilities. These polymers are made from "Sodium Polyacrylate" (a natural sodium product) and 1 crystal can absorb as much as 100 times its weight in liquid. SAP is usually added to the center padding just below the acquisition layer.
14. Poly Fill - This material is a soft, fluffy poly/cotton mix batting that is added to the center padding of a product for comfort, moisture control and breathability. Often times, products that advertise a "Poly Fill" will excel in wearer comfort and offer superior leakage protection.
15. PE Backing - Also known as "Polyethylene" plastic. Products (usually briefs, underpads or liners) that have a PE backing, are made from a soft plastic material which can aid in odor control and help prevent seepage into clothing. However, disposable briefs with PE backing are generally no where near as breathable as a natural, clothlike backed products. PE backing can also add to skin breakdown from excessive heat build-up and they tend to have a "crinkle" sound to them, which is not very discreet.
Tip: For maximum discretion, wearing comfort and skin health, we strongly recommend choosing a clothlike backed product. Especially one that says it is a "Breathable" product.
16. Tape Tab - A traditional "sticky tape" fastener usually found on a PE backed brief. Generally, a tape tab is a single or double use fastener that does not enable as much of a customized fit as a Velcro tab found on most clothlike disposable briefs.
Tip: Velcro tabs can usually be refastened and adjusted an unlimited amount of times (also sometimes called a reusable tab).
17. Wetness Indicator - Usually a "fade when moisture is present" line or a color changing line added to a disposable product to alert one when it is time to change without having to fully remove the product itself.
Tip: Most manufacturers recommend changing the product when the wetness indicator shows that at least 50% to 80% of the absorbent capacity has been used up.
18. Leg Cuffs - This is an elastic feature sewn onto the outside leg areas of a product. Elastic leg cuffs help the product to stay in place around the legs and promote a body close fit for optimal fit and leakage control.
19. Leg Gathers - A very soft, breathable and clothlike material that is sewn inside of a product from end to end. "Leg Gathers" help channel fluid fluid away from the edges of the product and down into the absorbent part so it does not leak out the sides and onto clothing.
Tip: For cases of severe urinary or bowel incontinence, we recommend choosing a product with leg gathers for added comfort and leakage containment.
I know this is a lot of information but I hope you found it helpful and that it can be used to assist in making informed choose for the proper type of product you might need.