How to Care for your Skin Around your Stoma

Having an ostomy means that you must monitor and care for the area around your stoma.  It’s basically a circle, and the skin that’s there goes directly around the stoma.  Sometimes, there are skin irritants that happen every single day, and the stomal skin is almost in constant contact with the adhesives from the ostomy wafer and flange, not to mention that at some point he stomal skin will be in contact with the output of the stoma.

This is a problem because the potential for is irritation is oftentimes something that happens a lot when you’re not doing this correctly, and it’s not like you can stop wearing this either.  You want to make sure that you take care of this area, for your own personal comfort, and for your own happiness and wellness too. In this, we’ll highlight how to effectively take care of your stoma pouch, to make sure that you have the best and healthiest skin possible.

First, check your ostomy system twice daily., once at least.  You’ll want to visibly check, and you should make sure that you look at the wafer and flange, and make sure that it looks correct. If you notice anything wrong, take it off, and make sure the flange isn’t leaking behind the wafer, since small leaks become big problems, and that can destroy your skin, so make sure that you deal with this immediately.

Next, you’ve got to make the most out of your pouch changes. Most will wear them all the time, but the thing is, you should make sure that you watch the changes of your skin during this time. When you change the ostomy pouch, you’ll notice that the old adhesive can be left behind.  That will damage your skin, so make sure that you do take some time to totally make sure that you have clean skin, and make sure nothing is left behind. You should make sure to get skin cleansing wipes too, and clean it all around there, in order to make sure that the wafer stays in place, and you’ll want to go for an environment that’s clean and dry, since that’ll help.

Stoma powder is something that you should also make sure that you use. If the skin around this does become irritated, weepy, or red, this powder helps the skin heal. If your skin doesn’t, or it starts to get worse, you should always contact your professionally.  You should make sure that you never put this on damaged skin, and always make sure that you listen to your body.

To begin, you apply the stoma powder to dry and clean skin. Never use harsh soaps, or soaps with perfumes. Apply a lighter dusting of this powder o the irritated skin or the redden skin. Brush off the excess powder with a cloth that’s soft and clean.  Dab a skin prep over this, and seal the powder into place.

Don’t use baby powder when you’re using this, since it’s not the same as stoma powder. Baby powder ruins your pouch adhesion, and it doesn’t absorb moisture as well. If you notice no improvement, talk to your healthcare provider, and make sure you keep in the know on this too.

Taking care of your ostomy pouch also involves the area too. It’s very important to make sure that you take some time to fully learn about this.  Doing this right will help save your skin from further irritation, and make you feel better as well.

Significant Facts for Ileostomy Care and Stoma Health

Stoma and its skin need your help and care. After getting an ileostomy stoma, you embrace something new in the belly. Like your overall health, the pit also requests you to care about it. Therefore, as a stoma person, grab all the necessary information and knowledge regarding the protection of ileostomy and stoma. As an ostomy patient, you must care for peristomal skin, opening, a new way of excretion, and its impact on life.

The ostomy surgery creates an opening in the abdomen to discharge the stool. It happens as the result of any disease, injury, or cancer in the ileum. It changes the path of excretion in the human body. The solid waste of the body comes out through the stoma (an opening in the belly). It collects in a bag that attaches to the opening. A person cannot excrete the feces from the anus after the ostomy surgery. Moreover, an ostomate has to empty, change, and clean the ostomy pouch and skin around the stoma. It all needs your hands and care for a healthy ostomy life.

A Few Facts about the Stoma

These are some facts about your stoma, you should know about them:

  • A stoma is a new opening on the abdomen.
  • It is the lining of the intestine.
  • It connects a part of the ileum to the abdomen.
  • The only purpose of the stoma is to collect the waste of the body.
  • It is usually red, dark pink, and shiny.
  • The stoma is a soft hole.
  • It is round or oval opening.
  • The stoma can bleed while cleaning or if you have skin sensitivity.
  • It can have mucus.
  • The peristomal skin should be clean, dry, and allergy-free.

To get rid of skin damage and for the healthy stoma, the skin around it, must be washed and parched, your pouching system should not leak, and the stoma should not bleed or change color.

How to Take Care of Stoma and Skin Around the Stoma?

After an ileostomy surgery, you will witness a few changes in your body. There will a new opening in your abdomen, and you will not be able to discharge stool through the anus. Well, these are two significant alterations in your body after an ostomy operation. This opening could be temporary and permanent. A temporary ileostomy is reversible, you could discharge the feces through the anus after the closing of the stoma. However, for permanent ostomates, there will be a hole in the belly for the rest of life. Care of the stoma and skin is necessary for both ostomates. For a happy and healthy ostomy life, the excretion hole and its surroundings should be fit and fine.

Right after the surgery, there will be swelling in the stoma, but with time, it will shrink and get flat. You will be the person who will have to care for the cuticles and hollow new organs.

Stoma Care:

  • You should always wear a correct sized ostomy pouching system.
  • Your ostomy pouch should not leak.
  • You should empty the pouch when you feel leakage or it gets half-full.
  • If you have diarrhea, then you should change the pouching system at least four times a day.
  • Your stoma should not bleed.
  • The pouch should not be too tight or too loose.
  • Your stoma should not get swell after weeks or months of the surgery.
  • You should wear an appropriate pouching system which is suitable for your skin.
  • You should wash and clean your stoma regularly.
  • Do not use cosmetic products for the stoma.

Skin Care:

  • The skin around the stoma should be clean.
  • The peristomal skin should be dry all the time.
  • The waste of the body should not touch the peristomal skin.
  • It should be odor-free.
  • Use luke-warm water to clean the peristomal skin.
  • Do not use perfume or cosmetic soap for the skin around the stoma. 
  • Use medicated soaps, wipes, and sanitizers for cleaning and washing.

Six Essential Points for Ileostomy Patients for a Comfortable Life

Ileostomy brings changes, challenges, and a few adjustments in your life. It does not indicate that you cannot spend your days according to your desires. But, you have to be a little more vigilant regarding lifestyle, hygiene routine, diet, and caring habits.

Well, living with ileostomy is not a difficult task. You should know about ostomy care and a few facts, then you can live a happy ileostomy life.

Here are six essential tips for living a comfortable and happy ileostomy life:

1. Keep the Stoma and Skin Around the Stoma Clean

Once you have a stoma in your life, you will have to clean that area as you take a shower for the body. Cleaning and washing the stoma and peristomal skin would be the necessary habits of your life. When your stoma and peristomal skin is healthy and clean, you can live a comfortable and easy ostomy life. You should empty your ostomy pouch when you feel discharge or leakage. You should wash the area with luke-warm water and a medicated soap. Use sanitizers for healthy skin and stoma. Well, you should clean the area four to five times a day, while you should wash it two times a day.

2. Shave the Hair

Shaving the hair from the below part of the stoma would be challenging for many ostomates. However, you have to remove the hair from that area. Many ostomates feel fear while using a razor or trimmer. But, you should not hesitate with the use of trimmer or razor. You can freely use them. But, in case you are scared to use a trimmer or razor, then you can use scissors for the hair. Your skin around the stoma should be hair-free. It would be easy for the attachment of the skin barrier. Well, you can use a removing cream, but if you have sensitive or allergic skin, it is better to quit the idea.

3. Use Filters to Get Rid of Gas

Many ileostomy patients complain about gas accumulation and odor. Well, after the surgery, you can gas flatulence problems. Your bag can fill with the unwanted gas. This is an embarrassing situation for an ostomate. Especially, in gatherings and public places, it can create the worst situations for you. However, you should not worry, like every problem, it has a solution. You can get rid of the gas by the use of gas filters. You can use these filters with the pouching system. These filters will not allow gas to accumulate. It filters out the air and you will not feel embarrassment. Moreover, you should use a medicated spray to get rid of bad odor.

4. Diet for Ileostomy Patients

Ileostomy patients should take care of their diet that way they look after the stoma, peristomal skin, and the supplies. You should not eat the food that can cause problems for your digestive system. Some foods are responsible for the creation of gas, a few are responsible for causing constipation, and some foods leads you to the loose motion. These three are the worst scenarios for an ileostomy patient. Therefore, you should take care of your stomach, intestines, and bowel. You should avoid eating red meat, broccoli, red beans, dry fruits, onion, garlic, pizza, burgers, noodles, oranges, eggplant, pulses, cauliflower, and dairy products. Well, you can eat soft foods like white rice, oranges in case of constipation, green vegetables, fresh fruits, fresh juices, and fish.

5. Be Active

Your ileostomy cannot stop you, your hobbies, and your life. You can live your life according to your wishes, dreams, and ambitions. After the surgery, do not behave like a sick person and lay down on the bed all day. Be active, follow your dreams, and chase your hobbies. You can run, swim, play, gym, or whatever you want in life or you used to do before the ileostomy.

6. Intimate Life and Travelling

Well, your ileostomy cannot halt r change your life or lifestyle. It only brings a few adjustments and changes. Thus, you can have sex in your life. Moreover, you can travel and go where ever you want.

The Different Kinds of Ostomy Barriers

Ostomy barriers come in different types of shapes and sizes. Luckily, we have the lowdown on each of the different barriers, what they mean for you, and the benefits of such as well.

First, you’ve got the ostomy wafer or the ostomy barrier.  These are pretty much the appliances that go around the skin with a hole around your stoma. The ostomy barrier is often called either a flange, wafer, or an appliance. This will stick to the skin around the stoma with an adhesive, and the skin around that will go around and the barrier goes around and protects the kin from the stomal output. The barrier allows for you to connect the pouches to the body, and if you use a two piece ostomy system, this is wo different things. Usually, the wafer and pouch are each their own. Not all of these ostomy barriers fit all the pouches, so you should make sure that you get the same brand of pouches and barriers, since that’ll help with connection.

There are also pre-cut barriers, and this is the most common for most of those who need a stoma pouch. They’re uniform, and circular in shape. The biggest benefit to this, is that you don’t have to cut them, just keep the box open, and of course they’re ready to go. If your stoma fits this size, this will help save you so much time, since you don’t have to manually cut the barrier each time.  If it isn’t round or the standard size, this isn’t the ideal choice, since it can cause leaks. When you first get an ostomy, you’ll probably want to avoid this, since the stoma is still changing, and it might be swelled up, which affects the state of the pouch as well.

Next, we’ve got the cut-to-fit ones, and these are of varying sizes that are printed directly, so you can cut the opening in order to fit the stoma size and the shape of it too. The printed lines are essentially a guide, and you’re not limited to pre-cut circles, but you can make any shape that fits to your stoma, so if you have an abnormal stoma, this is a good thing to have. This is good for those in-between sizes too.

The best way to handle these, is to cut those for a week or day ahead of time, so you’re not fumbling about when cutting at home.  You should also do this before you travel too.

Then you have the moldable ones, which is basically a step up from the last one, and this is made of a mold that’s safe for the stoma, and it goes right up against there without damage to the stoma itself, or the surrounding skin. The material is flexible, and it can be molded and shaped to fit around the stoma in a snug manner. This also doesn’t require scissors, but instead you can use the fingers to roll and shape the wafer around the stoma. The process of molding this around is usually called “turtle necking” since it makes a conical shape like a turtleneck, and this will help prevent leaks, increasing the comfort around the area as well.

These wafers are usually meant to fit snugly against the skin without worrying about the skin implications, so for those with sensitive skin, this is the best option.

There’s a lot of options for this in these different stoma pouches, but if you do take some time to learn about the different barriers, you can choose what’s right for you when you begin to learn to use your pouches as well.

When to Change Your Pouching System

An ostomy pouching system is a device that collects stool or urine from the stoma created to allow a surgically formed diversion in either of excretory systems. The excretory diversions include a colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy.

There are two components of a pouching system: a pouch to collect wastes and a skin barrier that fits over the stoma. A pouching system can be a one-piece or two-piece pouching system. Each type of pouching system is suitable in a different case, which may include individual needs and preferences.

Uses

The primary purpose of an ostomy pouching system is to collect waste passing out of the stoma. The most fundamental job of a pouching system is to allow the stoma to drain into a bag without letting bodily waste to come in contact with the skin around it. While wearing an ostomy bag, you can lead an active life that may include playing sports and socializing.

Skin barriers

A skin barrier is an essential part of an ostomy pouching system. It allows the ostomy bag to adhere to the skin around the stoma and prevent any leakage of the stomal output. The manufacturing of these barriers involves the use of pectin or other organic materials. These barriers are available in different shapes and sizes.

Before attaching the skin barrier to the peristomal skin, you first have to make sure that it has an opening to allow your stoma to pass through it because that’s how the stoma will open into the bag. This opening should fit the size and shape of your stoma. There are several methods to create this opening based on the stoma measurements.

Modern-day skin barriers come with optimization on different parameters such as:

  • Absorption
  • Adhesion and tack
  • Flexibility
  • Erosion resistance
  • Ease of removal

Many ostomy pouching systems have skin barriers with adhesive borders. Those borders adhere to the skin to provide added security to the pouching system.

Pouches

Based on your needs, you can purchase a one-piece or two-piece ostomy pouch. A one-piece ostomy pouch is a single unit that comprises the pouch itself and the skin barrier. If you want to change the bag, you must remove the barrier. A two-piece ostomy pouch, on the other hand, allows you to change the pouch without taking the skin barrier off the skin. It means that you can change several bags with one flange.

Pouches can be divided into two types: open-end and a closed-end. Open-end pouches come with a re-sealable end that can be opened to empty the pouch. You can reseal the pouch using a clamp. Closed-end ostomy pouches have a closed bottom, which means that there is no way you can empty the bag to use it again.

Routine care

The routine care related to ostomy pouch management involves timely emptying and removal of the bag. Generally, you can let the skin barrier of a two-piece ostomy pouch to remain attached with the peristomal skin for a maximum of three days. After three days, remove the skin barrier, clean and dry the peristomal skin, and attach a new barrier. You must not let the stomal output to come in contact with the peristomal skin because it can cause peristomal skin complications, which can be quite bothersome.

Choosing the Right Supplies for Your Ostomy

Ostomy supplies do not belong to only ostomy pouch and skin barrier. You should feel overwhelmed because there are several accessories available with the main appliances to ease your life. Well, the main parts of the ostomy supplies are bag and skin barriers. These are the things every ostomate needs. However, there are a few more things like ostomy belt, pouch support, adhesive, adhesive remover, paste, skin protector, and deodorant. You will use these accessories when you need them

In this article, we will discuss the necessary ostomy supplies and their use. You can choose according to your stoma and skin requirement. Thus, the necessary items you could need are ostomy bag support products, barrier rings, barrier seals, skincare products, and odor control items.

Why you Need Ostomy Accessories?

Ostomy accessories are not compulsory for every stomate. It only enhances the care for the patient. Therefore, the use depends on once skin and stoma requirement. If your opening and peristomal do not need extra products, you should not buy them. However, some stomas are complicated and skin is allergic; therefore, they need some discreet and secure products. Well, in this case, you should buy and use them.

The ostomy accessories aim to protect the stoma and peristomal skin. They give you a secure and tight seal of the pouch and a healthy and odor-free skin around the opening. You can use these products when you need them. Well, you should use the ostomy supplies when: 

Your pouching system is loose. 

You feel leakage.

You have gas accumulation problems.

Your stomach suffers from diarrhea or constipation.

You are a sports person.

You have an odor problem.

You have retracted stoma.

Your skin barrier is not tight.

You have a peristomal skin disease.

You have a skin allergy.

Or any other stoma or skin problem.

The Different Types of Ostomy Supplies

Before choosing and using the ostomy supplies, you should know their purpose, how they work, and either you need them or not. Well, if you want to know about the ostomy suppLies products, then you can buy from Hollister, Coloplast, and ConvaTec. These are the best and biggest providers. However, for selecting the appropriate ostomy accessories, you should know which type of ostomy you have. Moreover, either your stoma needs them or not. Otherwise, it would be the major challenge for your routine and comfort of life.

Ostomy Pouching System

An ostomy bag or pouch is used to collect the waste either liquid or solid. The human body excretes urine multiple times in a day and feces usually one time a day. In the case of loose motion, a person can discharge the stool more than two times. Thus, the purpose of the ostomy pouching system is to collect it from the opening or stoma. 

The pouching system has two main types. One-piece pouching and two-piece pouching system. Both kinds have a skin barrier and a sack to collect the waste. In the one-piece pouching system, skin barrier and the bag is a one-piece. You cannot separate them. To change the pouch, you will have to remove the entire system and replace it with the new one. While, in the case of a two-piece pouching system, there are two separate things, a pouch, and a skin barrier. You can change the bag without removing the skin barrier. If you have skin allergy or irritation, then you should use a two-piece pouching system.

Ostomy Pouch Support

Ostomy pouch support consists of a stoma belt. If your flanges or wafers are loose, then you should wear a belt to tight the ostomy pouching system. Otherwise, it will create problems for the hole and skin. It can cause leakage of the output and damage the peristomal area.

Skincare Products

Skincare is necessary if your peristomal and stoma are sensitive. For irritated skin, you should use medicated soaps, wipes, and sanitizers. Moreover, you should use a medicated deodorant to get rid of gas odor. 

You can use these supplies according to your skin and stoma requirements. These are not must-to-use items.