When you change your pouch, it is always a good idea to inspect your stoma and the skin around it. Your stoma is full of blood vessels and might bleed a little during cleaning. This is normal. If the bleeding does not stop or is excessive contact your nurse or doctor. You should also contact a health professional if the skin around your stoma becomes red or irritated.
You can bathe or shower with your pouch on or off. Use mild soap to wash your stoma (not inside) and the skin around it. Avoid soap that contains creams or perfumes. This can irritate your skin and/or interfere with the skin barrier’s adhesive properties.
The skin around your stoma is in a constant contact with the wafer’s adhesive. This may cause skin irritation and lead to further complications. To protect your skin from damage you can use various products:
- Film : A thin protective layer (film) can be placed on the skin to protect against damage from the adhesive or to create a dry surface area when the skin is not intact. The film can be applied with a spray or a swab.
- Paste or strips/rings: Paste is used to fill the possible gaps between the adhesive and the skin around the stoma. If the output is loose, leaks can appear around the stoma and under the adhesive which can lead to damage of the skin. Strips and rings made of thick adhesive material can be used as barriers to stop such leaks.
- Skin barrier: Skin barriers come in different forms and shapes. It can be part of the wafer or a separate product. In either case it serves to protect the skin.