Most people living with a stoma experience irritated skin now and again. However, irritated skin is not a ‘normal’ skin condition. For your stoma pouch to be comfortable and worry-free, it’s important to prevent skin irritation and maintain healthy skin in the area.
The cycle of irritation
Leakage leads to contact between output from the stoma and the skin, which causes irritation. The problem is that once your skin becomes irritated, the adhesive on your pouch won’t attach properly, leading to more leaking of output. A vicious cycle of leakage and skin irritation can develop.
Six steps to healthy skin around your stoma:
- Make sure your skin is clean and completely dry before applying the adhesive part of the pouch
- Adjust the hole in the adhesive so that it fits exactly the diameter of your stoma. After surgery it’s normal that you body shape will change. It’s important that you keep checking to see if your template is the right size and shape for your stoma. Check this by positioning your cutting template over your stoma to see if the hole fits perfectly.
- Regularly check the size of the stoma, especially if you have a hernia
- Ensure full contact between the adhesive and your skin by exerting light pressure with your hand
- Change your appliance as soon as you feel any itching or discomfort
- Make sure to use the stoma appliance and accessories most appropriate for your body profile
For more advice on the correct stoma care routines, follow the Apply-Check-Remove steps.
You may also wish to use our Brava Skin Cleanser which contains provitamin B5 to maintain healthy skin.
Use the right type of appliance
If you have concerns that your appliance is not providing a secure enough fit for your stoma and body shape, it is always advisable to check with your stoma care nurse first. There are many different types of stoma appliances available, so you might have to try a few to find the perfect product for you.
You can choose between different pouch sizes, application systems, colours, adhesive types and many other features to suit your lifestyle.
See the product finder.
Use the right supporting products
Coloplast also offers a wide range of supporting products and accessories available to make wearing a stoma pouch even more comfortable. These can help improve sealing, prevent skin problems and reduce smell. To find out which of our Brava supporting products are most suitable for your needs, try our Ostomy Self-assessment Tools.
You can see more detailed instructions on changing and draining a stoma pouch in our instructional videos.