Barrier Change Intervals: Why Do You Change When You Do?

Jul 26, 2020 10:06 pm

Hi Osto-buds,

I'm curious how you've decided on the time interval between your barrier changes. Now that I've stopped using ^# stoma powder, and the fact that the shape of my stoma has improved a little over the years, I have been extending my change interval from every other day to every 3rd day. And when I've changed it on that 3rd day (twice now) everything looked great when I pulled the barrier. No signs of impending leakage, the barrier is fully intact, no irritation....everything looks good. So I'm going to make my routine every 3rd day for awhile and see how it goes. But maybe I should try for 4 days. Which brings me to my question. For those of you who go 4, 5, 6-10 days between barrier changes......why do you change it at that interval? Just for peace of mind, or do you get leaks, or is there some other reason......I'm curious as to why you change when you do. Let me know.



Past Member
Jul 26, 2020 10:31 pm

I change mine only when the edges start to peel up or if I feel a little burning around the stoma, otherwise I leave it alone :). I figure the less I mess with it the less I'll screw it up lol! I can usually go 4-5 days without issues unless I'm in the pool and don't use any kind of waterproofing on the flange, that shortens my wear time. I also blow dry my flange every time I get it wet (I figure everyone else does but I just learned that a few months ago, I'm a relative newbie).

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,972 members. Get inside and you will see.

It's not all about ostomy. Everything is being discussed.

Many come here for advice or to give advice 🗣, others have found good friends 🤗, and there are also those who have found love 💓. Most of all, people are honest and truly care.

Privacy is very important - the website has many features that are only visible to members.

Create an account and you will be amazed.

Jul 26, 2020 11:21 pm

7-9 days, I start getting irritation. But even then, when I pull it, everything looks good, although it does come off fairly easily.


Jul 26, 2020 11:46 pm

If I smell something. If it blows up. If I feel something. If I see something. My range is 1 to 12 days but often reaches 10.

looking forward
Jul 27, 2020 12:51 am

I can go 5 days, it just depends on how well you put it on.

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jul 27, 2020 3:08 am

Monitoring the flange to appear "water-logged" and change color, as well as any skin itchiness, keeps me on a 4-5 day schedule, but I can go longer in winter.

Jul 27, 2020 6:53 am

Hello Bob.

My answer is easy. since the first few months of stoma life when I needed to wear a bag. I change every night when I irrigate and use the irrigation sleeve for an overnight 'bag'. In the mornings I have a hot bath and change again for a stoma plug. In the distant past I did try to go for 2 days  but missed it by half a day, so it made much more sense to stick with the 24 hour routine. 

I have much empathy with those who cannot irrigate and need to wear a bag, and I often wonder how I would get on if my circumstances changed. Which is the reason I appreciate these types of posts where the problems are discussed in a frank, open and constructive way. 

Best wishes


ron in mich
Jul 27, 2020 1:33 pm

Hi all, I change mine the morning of the 4th day, that's always been my routine.

Past Member
Jul 27, 2020 2:45 pm

From X amount of years experience, I change mine every 3 or 4 days as I know my skin starts to get irritated if left any longer. I never use any stoma powder or barriers and very rarely have any skin problems. After over 30 years, I still have very healthy skin underneath the flange. When I've been ill, I have left the bag on for up to 2 weeks. I never had a leak from it, but it didn't do my skin any favors. Just do what works for you. There's no right or wrong way.

Jul 28, 2020 1:24 am

Hi, I think how often one changes is a personal preference, with practicality being a mitigating factor. I have had my ostomy for over 55 years, and that first year I was lucky if the temporary paper and plastic pouch stayed on for a few hours. I was also in a back brace for 6 months after, so I was used to the everyday cleanup. When I got fitted for what was the "new" reusable rubber pouch, and plastic flange, I used a flammable glue to hold the things in place. A metal ring fit around the wafer and edge of the pouch to hold it together, and we used rubber bands to close the spout. Those supplies, although ugly and smelly, messy, actually got me through 3 or 4 and sometimes more days. But I had to give up baths, as soap softened my skin and caused the paste not to stick. So I showered, but was able to go in the ocean and the pool (cold water). I don't remember the timeframe, but I do remember the new disposable pouches and wafers. When I put it on for the first time, I actually cried. I couldn't even feel it, and there was "no weight". Wear time was between 5 - 7 days, and that's the way it's remained for the last 20+ (or more) years. That is, until I developed some gastric issues, which were reactions to the normal foods I was eating. It was IBS symptoms, which seems strange since I have no large intestine (or rectum). I finally went to a gastro doctor, who knew the answer immediately. FODMAPs, which are undigestible sugars, that are found in a lot of foods (beans, some vegetables, most fruits, and the worst, are artificial sugars. When ostomates talk about having "bile-like output", think more about possible food intolerances. When something doesn't agree with me, first I get gas (pouch fills up, but no output), next come the cramps, and then the profusion of yellow to green transparent liquid. The fiber may find its way out later. This was happening 2-3 times a week, even when I ate carefully. The culprit... drinking lemon or lime / artificial sugar drinks (no caffeine or carbonated drinks for me). That was the end of Crystal Lite. I've spent the last 6 months "testing" various foods and groups, and sometimes, all is well, and other times not so good. But I have a better sense now of what will trigger "the runs" and the dehydration. My diet is now quite restrictive, but I continue to test foods sporadically. While I have "the runs", I can't keep the wafer on for 6 hours, much less a few days. The acidity eats away at any wafer. It's been an upsetting and depressing situation, but I'm in better control now and try to be careful. I can get a 1 day, 3-5 days, or a full seven or more, depending on the output. Today, not so good... I leaked unexpectedly, but expected it because of a very liquid output. Just had protein for dinner. Want to lose weight anyway. Best of luck with everyone. Enjoy the summer, but stay safe.

Aug 06, 2020 2:41 am

I am one of those 10+ day people. I forget to change it and do not realize how long it has been there until it starts to look a bit worn or the edges roll down at my waist. I always write the date I change on the flange box and it is almost always 10 days. There have been times I had to change in 5 days if I have been in the pool all day every day. Not often.
I have not had a near leak but once in the last year. Works well for me!

May 18, 2021 11:07 pm

Usually daily for me, with Convatec Active Life one-piece. In the winter I might go two days, but when it's warm and especially when I'm doing action sports and motorcycle riding, it changes every morning. For me, it's odor control, itch control, and staying ahead of it before it breaks down and leaks.

Past Member
Mar 16, 2022 4:50 pm

If I can keep an appliance on for more than 2 minutes without it leaking, then I count myself lucky. Three months after colostomy, I am still in the experimental stage of finding the right stuff to work with my nasty stoma. I presently change every 1-2 days. It's tiresome. My ostomy nurses have all recommended 3-4 days for "normal" people.

When I read of those who can wear it for 5-10 days, I dream of it! Perhaps I'll be there someday. For now, the experimenting continues. I get samples of convex products, goo, rings, from many companies and keep on trying. I may eventually end up with a Boston surgeon who works with a plastic surgeon to correct stomas like mine. But I'm not there yet.

May 11, 2022 5:29 pm
Reply to Anonymous

I am with you on that, anonymous. I have to change mine every other day. Barely can push 2 days. The wafer around my stoma lifts on the bottom, eekkk. I have been trying and searching high and low. Please let me know if you find a product that helps and works, and I can do the same.

Jun 08, 2022 2:08 pm

These answers really helped us. The ostomy nurse said to change the flange twice a week. We do have periodic issues with leakage, so when we find something that works, I hate taking it off. My husband's skin looks good so far, so I know now we can play it by ear.

Homie With A Stomie NS
Jul 08, 2022 12:29 pm

Hey handsome Bob....prior to me even using a barrier ring, I was a 3-day bag girl. Now with it, I am 7 days tops. They break down by day 7, you know it's change time....Have a great Friday and smile on.