Showering Without an Ileostomy Device: When Did You Feel Comfortable?

Jun 01, 2023 12:57 pm

So how long after y'all got your ileostomy, did you decide to take a naked shower? Lol, by that I mean, without the device on. I am just about 4 weeks post-surgery, and I still feel like it would be very uncomfortable in the shower naked.

Jun 01, 2023 2:04 pm

Hi krkb01.

I am now 8 weeks post-op from ileostomy surgery and I had a 'naked' shower about 2 weeks after surgery. To be honest, I prefer it and generally shower like that 95% of the time.

The only thing I do now that is different is that when I remove my bag prior to showering, I tend to use an emollient (diprobase type product) on my abdominal skin near to the stoma but not on it. This not only stops my skin from getting too dry but acts as a bit of a barrier from soap, etc. It doesn't seem to affect adhesion when I put a new bag on after showering.

If it helps, I am increasingly following the philosophy of when it feels right for me, then I do it.

Best wishes,


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Jun 01, 2023 2:06 pm

Took me a long while - I first used Saran Wrap which was less than perfect but helped somewhat- then after joining this site and everyone saying "get drunk and go naked" just kidding that must've been a different site - many on here with their ever so helpful experiences said no need to cover it! Wow - that was a game changer! Sparkly clean after shower and no issues!

Jun 01, 2023 2:33 pm

Hmmm, maybe a few weeks? I didn't feel really clean unless I showered without it on, and I think it gave my skin extra time to get a break.

Jun 01, 2023 2:38 pm

As long as your wounds have healed, shower bagless whenever you feel comfortable to try it, be it today, next month, or year. You can use any shower gels/soaps, etc., on the skin around the stoma, just rinse well before putting a new bag on.

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Jun 01, 2023 3:19 pm

Not sure how long it was, but it was a total game changer for peristomal skin care for me.

Jun 01, 2023 6:34 pm

Go for it!! It is really one of the most liberating experiences you'll have! I don't use creams or anything, just good old shampoo. I find that my bag lasts way longer after I have a naked shower. The hot water does a great job of removing any residue left on my skin. A close belly shave around the Stoma removes even the tiny bits of adhesive and any gunk left on my skin. This makes for perfect adhesion for the new wafer. I use surgical paper tape strips on all four me a warning if I'm about to get a leak, the 2-inch tape provides the "finger in the Dyke" rescue for 15 or 20 minutes until I can get to a place to change.

For new people, I would highly recommend a strip of the same tape over the opening at the bottom whether you have Velcro or a Clip closure. That has saved my ass more than once. For Velcro, you have to squeeze really tight to make the Velcro lock together. Give the Velcro tab a little tug to make sure it is fully locked together. I made the mistake of not confirming that it was locked and had a nasty leak. Eakin 4-inch Seals (like a big Washer) will make your life better also.


Mysterious Mose
Jun 01, 2023 8:17 pm
Reply to Mayoman

Yeah. I have been caught by the failure to check the adhesion of the Velcro enclosures. Happened during the night all over my bamboo sheets! All because I burped my bag while laying down and half asleep. Never again. In the case of nighttime bag burps, I get up and make my way to the bathroom. And I check and double-check that the Velcro is tight. I have, so far, been fortunate that nothing like this has happened outside of the house. I have used both clip bags and Velcro bags. The Velcro is much easier to use. Currently, I use Hollister 18183 bags.


Jun 01, 2023 9:05 pm

Every pouch change day is naked shower day. It feels great and gives my stoma a chance to breathe. It's the only way I feel truly clean, soaping up my stoma and rinsing really well. I just make sure not to let the shower spray directly on my stoma, as it's quite a powerful spray.


Jun 01, 2023 9:41 pm

My disastrous fully open spill was while I was in the security line at San Francisco Airport! I instantly tucked my pants into my socks and ran. My two sisters were with me to hold my bags. I always fly alone except for that one time! I always have a full change of clothes, socks, and underwear included. Well, in that case, I needed everything! I ripped off all my clothes and threw them in the garbage in the bathroom! I was in there fuming and blinding, the other bathroom visitors got one hell of a selection of expletives coming from behind the stall door! Got the sisters were happy!


Mysterious Mose
Jun 01, 2023 11:48 pm
Reply to Mayoman

Egads! That's a frightful story. My wife wants to go to London for her niece's wedding next year. If I have my reversal surgery before the end of the year as planned, the problem will be different and less complicated.

My mother had a colostomy in 1994-95. She had one bad spill, and it was in a restaurant while she and my father were driving from Michigan to Colorado to visit us. She was mortified. It was her only long-distance trip with the bag before the cancer took her. I think my dad would have had a hard time getting her to make the trip again.

Jun 02, 2023 1:42 am
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Yeah, those are the bags I use as well. I hate the one that uses clips. So hard to keep the opening clean. Plus, I don't want to see my output all the time, lol.

Jun 02, 2023 2:57 am

I took a naked shower right away because I had irritation from whatever pouches and supplies they gave me to come home with. The home nurse felt I needed a naked shower to get all of that off of me. Since then, I take a naked shower daily without my bag on and I change daily. Don't know how people do it to keep these bags on any longer, but kudos to them. The only downside to naked showering is when your stoma decides to go into overdrive and gets all over the shower floor, and you get stuck in there because it wants to keep going. I've learned to keep an empty disposable plastic cup nearby in the shower so if it decides to do that, I can just catch everything in there. It can get quite messy if you don't. Nobody wants to smell like poo feet.

Jun 02, 2023 12:05 pm

Hi, when I change voluntarily I do it early and before I have coffee...well, a few sips to get the engine running! Otherwise, I sometimes have loooong hot showers to allow the dragon to stop spitting fire...and corn!! If it's dribbling, I can usually get a minute to slap it on real quick. I very rarely get leaks these days using the 3M Surgical Tape, 2 inch, and it comes in flesh color. One strip on each side does the job and over the Velcro.

One trick to make the tape over the Velcro easier. Take a 3-inch long piece of tape, fold over each end to create a non-sticky tab to grip to remove from the opening. This tape sticks even when wet!!

This tape is essential for swimming in ocean waves, both over the Velcro and the strips over the sides of the wafer.

Good luck. Magoo.

Sunshine Girl
Jun 02, 2023 12:57 pm
Reply to thebertonlagden

(Forgive me for the reply to your comment. I am still figuring everything out with the site and not a premium member, so unable to post directly.)

I wanted to throw out what I learned and hope it helps...

I love showering on the days I need to change the bag - it feels so clean and nice to have the bag off for as long as possible.

I keep the water a little cooler than normal.

Cleveland Clinic recommends the use of original Dial or Ivory - soap with no moisturizers - to be used on stoma and surrounding skin, so the our appliances will stick better. I use Original Dial liquid soap on the area and it has been just fine.

Hope this helps.

Much love to all,

Sunshine Girl

Jun 02, 2023 6:29 pm
Reply to Sunshine Girl

They just changed their minds on the Ivory last summer. Still fans of the Dial though.

Jun 02, 2023 7:36 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

I use nothing but Ivory and it works for me!

Jun 02, 2023 10:09 pm
Reply to TerryLT

I can't remember why the WOC nurses said they don't recommend it anymore... I was frustrated because I just bought the HUGE bottle of Ivory from Sam's Club or something. I mean it's getting used... always need soap. I would like to say we go through a lot of soap because I have kids... but I don't think we go through enough so they're either doing what I think they are doing and not washing their hands... or still using the instant alcohol hand sanitizer we have left over in abundance from the COVID era.

Jun 03, 2023 10:49 pm
Reply to CrappyColon

The rep at Coloplast suggests Dial Gold bar soap as well. She said it gets off all the old gunk from the area. I was using the white bar for the longest time but Dial just recently changed their soap and I'm loving the gold bar now. Yep CCF always says Dial.

Jun 04, 2023 2:21 am
Reply to Mayoman

Have you tried a marshmallow breakfast 15-20 minutes before you want to change device?

I do this, and it slows down my output, or stops it, for about 30 minutes.

If it does happen while I'm changing things, it's thick and easier to deal with, i.e. catching it in some TP or something lol

Jun 05, 2023 5:10 pm

I have had mine for over 4 years and never had a naked shower.

Jun 05, 2023 7:57 pm

Naked shower every time I change the appliance. For me, no more than 2 cups of coffee before. The few times I didn't follow my own advice there was some discharge. Not only a naked shower experience but a naked shower scrubbing too!

Best of health to you,


Jun 05, 2023 9:48 pm

I have had my ostomy since 2002 and naked shower every time I change the appliance. I use whatever soap, shower gel I have on hand and have never had a problem.

Jun 05, 2023 11:21 pm

Thanks for asking the question! I learned a lot and will be trying "naked" shower next time I change. I think I've only done it once (in the hospital) ileostomy of 20+ years, 2-piece clip/Convatec so I don't really understand the Velcro comments.

Jun 06, 2023 12:30 am
Reply to CrappyColon

I think they're avoiding liquid Ivory and not the bars.

Jun 06, 2023 2:46 am
Reply to Oscar23

Hollister makes a bag with a foldable Velcro-sealed end instead of the clip. The end of the bag is stiffer, so for some (myself included) it's easier to keep the bag clean, therefore fewer bag changes.

Jun 06, 2023 3:22 am
Reply to Chiquis

Jun 06, 2023 7:56 am


Well, you can do it of course, but it is a bit of an adventure. I usually hold a dry wipe over the stoma - just in case! Also, it's best to choose a quiet time for your stoma.

Jun 06, 2023 2:13 pm

I take a naked shower every time I change my whole appliance. I waited until I was healed enough and got an OK from my surgeon. I remember how wonderful it felt the first time I did it. It made me feel more "normal." I always do it first thing in the morning when my stoma, who I call Betty Poop, is most quiet. My advice is to set up everything you will need before you start taking off your old bag and wafer. I set up my new wafer, ring, barrier strips, adhesive remover, gauze pads, barrier spray, and SkinTac. I also take a grocery bag and open a drawer at my bathroom sink and tuck a side of the grocery bag in there so it hangs down. I could throw all my trash in there while changing and plus stand over it, just in case. Hope this helps you.

Jun 06, 2023 3:46 pm

I had healing issues so it was a couple of months for me. On change days - I shower with no wafer or bag and it does feel good and helps the skin - in my case anyway. I have a bath towel at the ready for a 'clean' exit.
Just do it! - when you and your skin are ready