You Need to Focus on Your Ostomy Skin Health
An ostomy is a procedure that creates an opening in the abdominal wall through which waste is eliminated from the body. There are 3 main types which are urostomy, ileostomy, and colostomy, all of which serve different functions and have their own differing traits. This opening, the stoma, requires attention, maintenance, and care to prevent skin irritation and other complications. In this blog post, we will discuss some essential tips you need to focus on your ostomy skin health.
Keep the skin clean and dry: clean and dry the skin around the stoma thoroughly before applying any ostomy supplies. Using a mild soap and warm water to clean the area, and then patting it dry with a soft towel will make the biggest impact. Avoid using harsh soaps or rubbing the skin too hard, as this can cause irritation.
Use the right ostomy products for you: There are many different types of ostomy products available, including pouches, barriers, and skin prep products. It’s essential to use the right products for your specific type of ostomy and skin type. Remember, each ostomy has unique variable that you’ll come across! Consult with your healthcare provider or an ostomy nurse to determine the best products for your specific needs. If you have broken skin, try using stoma powder. This allows for the skin barrier to adhere properly and promotes healing on the peristomal skin.
Change the ostomy pouch regularly: Ostomy pouches should be changed regularly, typically every 3-5 days, or as recommended by your healthcare provider. Changing the pouch too frequently can cause skin irritation, while leaving it on for too long can lead to leaks and skin breakdown. Changing your pouch on a regular schedule will drastically improve your skin care needs.
Use skin barrier products: Skin barriers stick to the peristomal skin around the stoma and protect the skin from coming into contact with the stomal output by connecting the skin to the ostomy pouch. However, be careful not to remove the barrier too quickly, as it can pull the top layer of skin with it, causing irritation. If you have broken skin, try using a stoma powder. This allows for the skin barrier to adhere properly and promotes healing on the peristomal skin.
Dry skin, irritation, and cracked skin are not “standard” for ostomy patients. If you find that you’re developing any of these issues, contact a qualified ostomy care professional for direction on how to solve the dilemma. They will help you choose the best products for your needs and the best way to care for your ostomy diligently.