What are the best soaps for skin when bathing a senior citizen?

A fellow caregiver asked...

What do you recommend for soaps for shower/bathing senior adults, if I use perfumed soaps her bottom get irritated - is the basic Dial soap all right, or Ivory soap?

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Skin on older people is very dry and can be easily irritated.  Dial is very strong and perfumed, so it is very drying and can be very irritating to the skin.  Also, I know that Ivory is supposed to be "pure" and not perfumed, but it is a very harsh soap.  It will also really dry out the skin.

I recommend baby wash.  I know that it sounds strange, but it cleanses and it is very gentle.  It will not dry out the skin, so it reduces irritation.  Since I have very sensitive skin, I use it myself, and I can tell you it really works!

If you absolutely must use a bar soap, then try Dove.  It is the most gentle bar soap that you can get.