Having healthy skin around your stoma can be a difficult daily task. The obstacles in the way such as bag leaks, wound healing and if you are a new ostomate, having you stitches removed. All of these obstacles can lead to skin breakdown and before you know it, there are sleepless nights and it can be extremely painful.
Many ostomates go through this difficult period until they find the right products that works for them. I personally took MUCH longer because I wanted to try everything available. What I learned is getting the right combination DOES takes patience, followed with great support. So where do you start? I started with messaging Trio via Instagram (they also have a facebook page, twitter page and a request your starter kit form on their website) and explained the type of skin issues I was having. This was the beginning of starting fresh as what I had been using previously wasn’t working. I also felt more pressure to try everything because I was so desperate for help. Trio took the time to discuss my skin issues with me and asked the relevant questions so that samples of items could be sent to me to try. The first product I tried was the Siltac Silicone Seals, I can’t rave about them enough, they are super slim, stretchy and soft!! They are also available in convex seals too.
So here’s my stoma skincare routine….I start by using adhesive remover spray to peel my ostomy bag away from my skin, slowly (this reduces irritation to my skin). I then clean my skin with wet wipes and dry the skin and stoma with a dry wipe. I then spray Elisse Skin Barrier Spray and let it air dry for a couple of seconds, repeating 3 times. Layering the Elisse spray is extremely useful as it gives more protective barriers over the skin so that should a leak ever happen, the skin isn’t so damaged. Then I take a cotton wool pad and shake on my stoma powder and pat just round the edge of my stoma until the skin is covered, wiping off any excess powder. I spray Elisse Skin Barrier one last time before I apply a Siltac Silicone Seal and then finally my ostomy pouch! It sounds like a long, time consuming routine but takes me just five minutes. The reason my routine has so many steps is because I produce too much moisture around my stoma so the powder soaks up any excess moisture which enables the seal and pouch to stick perfectly without any chance of leaks or the flange peeling off.
Something to always be aware of is that your stoma skin condition can change at any time, any day, so it is important to have a routine to avoid issues from happening, such as bag leaks. However, even when you are doing everything right other factors such as eating high fibre foods can trigger a bag leak and this triggers a flare up of sore skin again. When a bag leak happens it is super important to treat the skin kindly and sensitively and from time to time give the skin a break from all irritants which can include some products. If the skin is broken and red you could try having a bag free shower and airing out the skin as a pre treatment, it’s so important to always keep the affected areas beautifully clean. Taking care of your skin around your stoma should be no different than how you would treat the skin on your face, keeping to a good routine and the right products make this super easy! For any specialist advice on skin conditions it always advised to contact your stoma care nurse as further treatment or guidance may be required.
About the author: Alannah is an ostomy, chronic illness, mental health, invisible illness and disabilities blogger. She lives in Scotland with her fiancé and dogs. Follow Alannah @glitterygutsx
Published: 10 December 2020