So you’ve come home from the hospital and now you have to care for a stoma as the result of a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy.
Given the sensitive nature of the skin around a stoma and the fact that it must endure a multitude of potential irritants, from adhesives to exposure to bacteria rich faecal fluids, skin irritation, soreness and even infection are always causes to take extra care.
Sore, irritated skin around a stoma can lead to discomfort and even affect your ability to get your appliance to stick!
Sore skin can be caused by numerous factors.
For example, changes in the size or shape of your stoma could mean the flange to your appliance no longer fits properly, and you may need to adjust the flange accordingly for a snug fit. Your skin can also become damaged when removing the flange.
Pancaking, where faeces actually gets caught at the top of your pouch and doesn’t empty into the pouch properly, causing the faecal matter to work its way under the adhesive, can also cause skin issues.
Other factors like weight gain or weight loss, skin creases or scar tissue around the stoma can contribute to irritated, sore skin.
Here are a few tips to help you care for your stoma and avoid the discomfort and inconvenience caused by skin irritations.
First, only use warm water to clean the skin around the stoma. Baby wipes, soaps and other chemicals can irritate the skin.
Make sure to check the size of your stoma every few months and watch for fluctuations. If your stoma changes size or shape use the template to adjust your flange size, or come see us at Cooper Medical for advice on how to get a more snug fit.
Take your time when removing your pouch. Careful removal will prevent damage to the skin.
Always ensure the skin around the stoma is thoroughly dry before applying a new pouch. A hairdryer set to its lowest setting can be helpful.
If you need to shave around the stoma, don’t use shaving creams or other products. Stick to clean, warm water and use a new disposable razor. You can also use something like a toilet roll held around the stoma to protect it will shaving.
The products you choose to use for your pouch and the quality and care of those products also affects the health and well-being of your skin.
For example, Hollister now offers a new product called the CeraPlus Skin Barrier with their Premier one-piece and New Image two-piece pouching systems.
The CeraPlus skin barrier is infused with ceramide, the skin’s naturally occurring protection against dryness. The CeraPlus skin barrier is designed to maintain adhesive properties, and features a formulation infused with ceramide to help protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier, maintain good peristomal skin health and decrease transepidermal water loss (TEWL) from damaged or eroded skin.
To find out more about stoma care and check into all the products available for ostomates, visit Cooper Medical Supplies in Kelowna, your ostomy care experts.
Also, be sure to visit us for a special Hollister Open House on Thursday, May 19th from 10am – 2pm, hosted by Hollister reps.
For more information on CeraPlus visit Hollister online at http://www.hollister.ca/ceraplus?sc_lang=en-CA