5 Important Winter Facts That Can Affect Your Ostomy
Whether you’re a new or seasoned ostomate, winter concerns are always a factor. Dry skin and stoma care are leading concerns. Wintertime tends to be a preferred season for those living with an ostomy. The cooler weather alleviates the worry for sticky skin and melting pouches due to summer heat. It also can help with product adherence and performance.
With winter, dry skin can cause flaking and irritation around the stoma area. This can lead to pouches becoming uncomfortable. We recommend using a protective wipe if you start to encounter these issues. If you are using an adhesive remover, you want to ensure it has some moisturizer lotion to avoid drying out skin and to keep it in supple condition. Another idea is to use a humidifier. This can prevent your skin from becoming too dry in the cold weather. Dryness can lead to broken skin, so you may want to consider using a powder to reduce tenderness and keep your ostomy products in place.
Keep Away from Heat
Winter brings on the cold which makes us kick up the heating in our homes. Heating can dry out and compromise ostomy supplies. If you keep your products close to a radiator or home heating vent, you may want to move them. This can dry out adhesives on pouches and can also affect seals and sprays. You also want to ensure you’re not storing your supplies in cold, freezing areas, such as a garage or basement, as this can have the same consequence on your ostomy products.
Warm Up Your Pouch
If you’re in a particularly cold environment, you may consider warming up your pouch before application. Place your bag in a warmer location in your home or place it under your arm to heat it up a bit. Some pouches react better to heat and using your body heat will help make the adhesive stickier.
Concerns with Output
You will also want to check out output. Using a pouch cover can assist with keeping cold output laying on your skin. As we all know, winter months offer a host of holiday celebrations. During the holiday season, we all tend to indulge. Know what foods can cause issues with your stoma. You may also want to be prepared just in case, as many festivities can happen outside of your comfort zone. It’s always a good idea to carry extra supplies and a change of clothes with you to tackle any leaks, odors, or blowouts.
Keep Supplies on Hand
Who wants to travel in the freezing cold winter months? What about a blizzard forecast or winter ice advisory which can delay your delivery? It would be beneficial to have extra supplies on hand. You don’t want to get stuck with limited supplies during this time of the year.
These recommendations can help you make the best of the winter season and keep your stoma in healthy condition. Knowing the challenges beforehand can prepare you and your ostomates for when they arise making this season a success!