Peri care (perineal care), washing the genitals and anal area is an important aspect of caring for incapacitated individuals. It prevents skin breakdown, itching, odor, burning and infections of the perineum, the area of skin between the genitals and the anus. The perineum's dark, warm environment provides a breeding ground for bacteria. Because the urethra (opening where urine is released) is nearby, bacteria can enter the bladder, causing an infection. Urinary tract infections can be avoided using proper peri care.
Peri Care Preparation
Gather supplies for the peri care. Assist the individual to the bathroom or help them use a bedpan. The warm water used for cleansing may stimulate the perineal area, causing the urge to urinate.
Wash and dry your hands. Put on the exam gloves. Explain the procedure to the individual, if this is their first peri care. Always tell the individual what you are going to do.
Draw the curtain around the individual’s bed to provide privacy. Use a sheet for covering exposed areas that are not being cleaned.
Check the temperature of the water. Because the perineal area is temperature sensitive, the water should be a bit cooler than bath water.
Assist the individual to lie on their back or side. A towel, or bedpan covered with a towel, may be used to elevate the hips, if necessary.
Male Peri Care
Begin at the tip of the penis. Retract the foreskin, if present. Lift the penis and with a gentle, circular motion, cleanse from the tip, downward, following the manufacturer’s directions. Do not reuse a cloth. Start with a fresh cloth for each procedure.
Cleanse the scrotum with gentle, circular motions. Rinse and pat the skin dry. Cleanse the area between the legs with gentle, circular motions. Rinse and pat the skin dry. Cleanse the anal area with gentle, circular motions. Rinse and pat the skin dry. Cleanse the area between the legs with gentle, circular motions. Rinse and pat the skin dry.
Pat the perineal area dry. To prevent rubbing, lightly apply powder under the scrotum, if required by doctor’s orders.
Female Peri Care
Begin at the inner legs and outer perineal area. Use a gentle, circular motion. Always wash from front to back to prevent transferring bacteria to the urethra. Do not reuse a cloth. Start with a fresh cloth for each procedure. As you wash, note any unusual odors, or discharge.
Cleanse the outer skin folds, from front to back, using a gentle circular motion. Cleanse the inner labia, from front to back, using gentle circular motions. Open all skin folds. Cleanse from front to back, using gentle circular motions. Cleanse the anal area using gentle circular motions.
Rinse the perineal area beginning with the innermost area and working outward. Pat the skin dry. Apply a light dusting of powder, if required by the doctor’s orders.
Remove all the articles used for the peri care. Dispose of disposable items and place reusable items in a safe place until you have time to clean them properly.
Remove the exam gloves. Dispose of the gloves. Wash and dry your hands.
Assist the individual in dressing and help make them comfortable.
Clean and sterilize reusable materials. Report anything unusual to the caretaker in charge.