Why is it important to maintain healthy skin?
If the skin around your stoma (peristomal skin) becomes damaged, it could be painful and lead to infection. It also becomes more difficult for the skin barrier of your pouching system to adhere to your skin. Prevention is the key to maintaining both healthy peristomal skin and your comfort.
Make sure you know what healthy skin looks like
When you apply the skin barrier of your pouching system, it's important to make sure your peristomal skin is healthy and dry. This will ensure the pouch stays in place between changes.
Make note of how your peristomal skin looks when it's healthy. Peristomal skin should look similar to the skin on the other side of your abdomen: smooth and not irritated. Once you know what healthy skin looks like, you can watch for signs of skin irritation.
Proper fit of the skin barrier around the stoma is also important to prevent peristomal skin problems:
- For one-piece systems, a thin, flexible adhesive will protect your skin and allow for more frequent pouching system changes.
- For two-piece systems, special moldable skin barriers designed to hug the contours of your stoma and eliminate gaps provide a snug fit that may help minimize peristomal skin problems.