Dr. Steve Hodges
Dr. Steve Hodges

Dr. Soother’s Healthy Wipes was the first of the Dr. Soother’s family of products to be developed by Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist at Wake Forest University and a national authority on toileting problems in children.

Every day in his practice, Dr. Hodges sees patients with debilitating vaginal skin irritation and recurrent urinary tract infections that are the direct consequence leaked urine from accidents and bedwetting.

Dr. Hodges noticed that all his patients with recurrent UTIs also had red, irritated vulvae. He began swabbing the perineal skin of his patients, comparing the bacteria found on girls with and without vulvitis. What he discovered: Patients without skin irritation had normal, noninfectious skin bacteria and normal pH; however, the skin of the girls with vulvitis was colonized with UTI-causing bacteria and had an abnormal pH.

Dr. Hodges further discovered that preventing the accumulation of noxious urinary substances and restoring the skin’s normal pH prevents irritation and skin breakdown. Numerous studies indicate urinary tract infections arise when bacteria travel from the feces to the perineum and then ascend into the bladder. The fecal bacteria are able to thrive and make this journey much more easily when the skin pH is abnormal. In It’s No Accident, we called this the “pH bridge.” Keeping the skin free of irritation and normalizing the pH tears down this bridge, reducing the bacteria that cause infections.

Dr. Hodges then developed an astringent formula that restores normal pH and bacterial flora and a method to keep the astringent on a wipe.

Because postmenopausal women are also prone to vulvitis, Dr. Hodges suspected his wipes would help these women as much as they would help his own patients.

He approached Dr. Scott Washburn, an OB/GYN at Lyndhurst Gynecologic Associates in Winston-Salem who is an expert on urinary incontinence and menopause. Impressed by Dr. Hodges’ findings, Dr. Washburn asked his patients to test the Healthy Wipes. The results were phenomenal: skin irritation was drastically reduced. Dr. Washburn forged a partnership Dr. Hodges and continued to refine the Healthy Wipes and develop additional applications of the formula. ( Dr. Soother’s for Clear Skin and Dr. Soother’s Skin Relief. )