Keeping the skin around your stoma in good condition is the most important thing you can do to make sure your ostomy appliance is comfortable, dependable and worry-free.
Contact between stoma output and the skin is the main cause of skin irritation. Once the skin becomes irritated, the adhesive on your appliance won’t attach properly – and this leads to a vicious circle of more leakage and a worsening of the skin irritation.
Following these five steps will ensure that your skin stays healthy:
- Make sure your skin is clean and completely dry before applying the adhesive
- Adjust the hole in the adhesive so that it exactly fits exactly the diameter of your stoma
- Ensure full contact between the adhesive and your skin – exert light pressure with your hand
- Change your appliance as soon as you feel a sense of discomfort or itching
- Check the size of the stoma regularly, especially if you have a hernia
See Your Guide to Healthy Skin for more information and advice on how to:
- maintain healthy skin
- prevent skin irritation
- manage irritation when it occurs
If you develop itching, a rash, or become sensitive to your adhesive, talk to your doctor or WOC Nurse for help in clearing up your skin irritation problem. Individual body chemistry differs and so do manufacturer's formulas for skin barrier adhesvies. If your adhesive isn't giving you a good seal, ask for help in finding one that does.