Incontinence underpads can prevent bed linens from getting wet, lessening the amount of laundry. Also, underpads play a role in preventing bed sores, or pressure sores. People at high risk for pressure sores include the elderly, patients with spinal cord injuries and any individuals with an impaired ability to reposition. Prevention of pressure ulcers is better than any treatment.
One major risk factor to minimize is the exposure of skin to moisture. Underpads should effectively absorb moisture and present a quick-drying surface to the skin. An underpad should accomplish three goals. First, its backing should have low friction to prevent frictional skin injuries. Second, an inner absorbent core should rapidly contain moisture and disseminate it throughout the entire pad. Third, the core and coverstock should successfully work together to retain moisture and prevent wet-back or fluid return.