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An incontinence pad is a small, impermeable multi-layered sheet with high absorbency that is used in the incontinence and health-care industries as a precaution against urinary incontinence. It is generally made of cotton if washable or paper if disposable. The term may be used to refer to what are also known as "incontinence diapers" or "incontinence nappies". Incontinence pads are usually placed in an undergarment or on a bed or chair under a person. Incontinence pads are manufactured in light and heavy grades which offer a range of absorbencies, often referred to as a 'working capacity', which refers to the true absorbency an incontinence pad offers when in use. These sorts of pads can come as panty-liners, inserts, pads or even available as replacement underwear.
In the UK, chair or bed based protective pads, known as chair pads or bed pads, are commonly used in healthcare settings where incontinence may be an issue. They are usually constructed in layers of quilted absorbent fabric and alternating liquid impermeable plastic or polyurethane. Products containing polyurethane are generally considered better as they provide a waterproof backing, whilst still allowing air to circulate reducing the risk of rashes and sores.