Preventing Ostomy Skin Irritation

Ostomy irritation can be stressful for patients. It can cause annoying discomforts throughout the day as this cannot be easily relieved. One thing that can spare you from having an ostomy irritation is to have a good, solid, Ostomy Care Practices.

If you have a sensitive skin, do notify your ET nurse ahead of time as some of them might
forget to ask you. This is very important because you need to take more necessary precautions than normal ostomy patients.

What's with the Ostomy Supply that Cause the Irritation?

Normally, the pouching systems and ostomy supplies are made using materials that are not irritating to the skin. This is effective for the most part. However, there are some who have a "reaction" to the components to the products used. This should be reported to your nurse at once.

How do I know if I have an Irritation?

You will feel a burning and itching sensation under the skin barrier. This might be due to leakage or a reaction. Either way, you have to check the stoma and the surrounding skin and find out as soon as possible.

Also, a small pocket mirror will come in handy to check the skin below your stoma as this is where your leakage usually pools into.

I think I have an irritation. What do I do?

Relax. This is not a life threatening situation. What you need to do is to check the pouching system, if it is intact, check the stoma for inflammation or unusual leakage. In addition, find out if the surrounding skin has wrinkles, and other unusual signs. After this, immediately inform your stoma nurse about this one and follow her advise.

Most likely, she would want to check it out herself. Until then, keep your stoma clean, and do not scratch the stoma or put anything on it.

What do I do after the Ostomy Irritation?

Most likely, your stoma nurse will give you enough instructions to keep you from having a reaction again. It will be helpful to ask her about some reinforcement ostomy supplies to be used the next time you apply your pouching system. This may be in the form of skin barrier strips, rings or paste.

In addition, ask your stoma nurse about using an extended wear skin barrier as it will give your skin some added protection. However, not all patients are advised to use this kind of ostomy supply.