How do incontinence pads work?

Incontinence is a more common condition than you’d think and probably has been for a long time, just that nowadays it’s not a taboo topic anymore. And people are becoming regular customer of incontinence products, but… how do incontinence pads work?

Incontinence products will come in various sizes and styles but the basic features will be the same. They all have 3 layers of fabric to protect the user from any leakage. The first layer of every pad is made of a hydrophobic substance which is made up of tiny pores which lets the urine through very quickly and keeps the person’s skin dry. The second layer is made up of pop fibers that have been specifically arranged to draw the urine downwards. These special fibers elongate to both ends of the pad so that the urine is channeled from the middle and up to either end of the pad. The last layer of the pad is made of a waterproof backing and in some incontinence pads it can be crinkly. 

As an added feature, most incontinence pads come with yellow lines on the outer layer. These lines are wetness indicators, and what they do is they turn blue as the pad absorbs urine. When the pad has reached its maximum working capacity, the yellow line will  turn blue all the way, keeping in mind that the urine hits the middle spot and works its way outwards. These wetness indicators are discreet guides  for caregivers to know when the pad has reached its max capacity. Also, most incontinence pads have a droplet system to indicate their absorbency levels, the more drops, the more fluids they will absorb.
Now that we know about the parts of a pad, let's see how incontinence pads work.  Each pad has superabsorbent powders scattered throughout the second layer fabric of the pad and lock the urine away from the person’s skin.  It is a white, refined granulated powder that can hold up to fifty times its own weight in urine. This powder binds with the urine molecules and locks the urine away from air. Normal urine does not smell unpleasant, however if it has been sitting for a while, it begins to have an offensive smell which is caused when air comes in contact with the urine and forms ammonia. Superabsorbent powders change their texture as they absorb the fluid and stop bad smells from happening since they bind with the urine and keep it from the air, providing the commonly known “odor control” because ammonia is not formed in these pads.

Related Read: Are Incontinence Bedwetting Alarms for Enuresis?