Keeping the skin around your stoma (peristomal skin) healthy is important. You can steer clear of many complications by following these simple suggestions:
Bath and shower tips
- You can bathe and shower just as you did before surgery, with your pouch on or off—the choice is up to you.
- Because soap residue can cause your skin barrier to lift, avoid oil-based and moisturizing soaps.
- Soap and water will not flow into the stoma and cannot damage it.
Choose a well-fitting skin barrier
- To help keep the skin around your stoma healthy, it is important that your skin barrier fits properly. Choose a well-fitting pouching system to help prevent irritating stoma contents from coming into contact with your skin.
- Your ostomy nurse can teach you how to use a measuring guide to determine the size of your stoma and select a cut-to-fit, pre-cut or moldable barrier. Your stoma size will change up to 10 weeks after surgery, so you will need to measure it periodically.
- Changes to the abdomen caused by pregnancy, exercise, weight gain/loss or certain medical conditions may also require a new pouching system and/or size.