Wanting a Tattoo Around Stoma, Anyone Else Had This Done?

Sep 03, 2023 8:10 am

After everything stoma people go through, I was wondering if anyone has had a tattoo around theirs. Is it an obvious no-no? How did you stop stoma from leaking while having the surrounding tattooed? Did you cap it? Or not eat for several hours so output was zero? I am 8 weeks post-surgery, have an ileo, on chemo for x3-6 rounds, so while I'm waiting, I can design a tattoo if this is viable, and then find a competent person who won't pass out when they see the stoma!!!

Sep 03, 2023 12:50 pm

I would say a tattoo around your stoma would be a big no. That's an area that is not only super sensitive but also needs to be kept clean. Also, remember with tattoos, you have to put on Aquaphor or your choice of ointment, and it goes through that flaky phase. You also don't want an infection. And you still have to wear a bag. Although, why not do something on your side or another place on your abdomen above your bag. Just some thoughts, but it is your stoma ☺️

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Sep 03, 2023 1:08 pm

Search for tattoo, there are some posts.

Sep 03, 2023 1:40 pm

Have at it, simply design your tattoo from where your bag/flange stops, it's not like anyone is gonna see what's under it anyway.

Sep 03, 2023 1:42 pm


Living with Your Ostomy | Hollister
Sep 03, 2023 2:44 pm

Everything Beth said☝(I had forgotten about the Aquafor, VERY good point.) I would also avoid that area in the event that you need something procedural done, like a revision. Why make it harder on your doc.

Sep 03, 2023 2:59 pm

As you're in the UK and we can speak to stoma nurses reasonably easily, I would ask them for their professional advice. The main problem I can see is finding a tattooist willing to get up close to a stoma and if their insurance would cover them.

Sep 03, 2023 3:12 pm

The first and foremost problem would be to find a tattooist willing to exercise his skill in that rather delicate area. If you do find one, what design do you have in mind and what will the tattoo say? I would have had one installed, but no skilled tattoo artists available here. Best of luck and best wishes.

Mysterious Mose
Sep 03, 2023 4:23 pm

I couldn't imagine doing something like this. At least not right around the stoma. My skin is sensitive enough as it is without adding a layer of foreign chemicals. Besides, no one is going to see the tat under the appliance. So, what's the point? Tattoos are a form of vanity and it is hard to be vain when no one can see it. :-)


Sep 03, 2023 4:28 pm

Maybe try a henna tattoo. It's not permanent and you could modify the design. Henna might interfere with wafer adhesion. Try a small parastomal skin area first to check for complications.

Sep 03, 2023 5:10 pm
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Hmmm, to be fair and play devil's advocate, people get tattoos for a lot of different reasons. Yes, one is for others to see them. Another is for the pleasure that one gets from looking at their own artwork. Still another is an expression of control, especially when other things in one's life are making them feel out of control. Your health may be taking a hit but you can decide what, where and when you put ink on your body.  Having said all of that, around the stoma might not be the best place for a tattoo for all of the reasons mentioned, including yours like not being able to see it (although a lot of people have tattoos where no one can see them, including themselves 😉.)

Mysterious Mose
Sep 03, 2023 5:42 pm
Reply to eefyjig

Whether public or private, it is still a form of vanity.. :-)

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking tattoos, per se. Nor am I saying that a particular form of vanity is necessarily unhealthy. I've seen some beautiful artwork on some people. Whenever I see a person covered in tattoos, Ray Bradbury often pops into my mind and that is not a bad thing at all. :-) But when it comes to adding any form of noxious chemicals under my barrier, I shudder. I already have enough problems with my morning power walks in the dead of summer causing perspiration which invariably gives me fits with irritation. I could try products other than Hollister to see if I get relief. But given the rigors of the U.S. insurance cartel and the fact that my reversal surgery is 37 days hence, it's not worth the hassle. I just try to take my walks earlier in the morning or after dark. These are the times I regret the absence of dusk here on the front range. :-)


Sep 03, 2023 7:30 pm

Sep 03, 2023 8:15 pm



This movie scene came to mind.

Rob Schneider in the movie Big Stan

He gets a tattoo before he goes to prison.

Sep 04, 2023 6:03 pm
Reply to xnine

I think you are on to something!

This might be just the thing for an ostomate - it could be a friendship or beyond fact-finding aid.

Just put that guy over the nipple in the exact location of your stoma. When you are ready to share the fact you have a stoma, you can show your tattoo - depending on the look on their face and the immediate reaction, you can judge whether or not you want to expose the real thing. jb

Sep 04, 2023 9:42 pm

You would be an idiot to have a tattoo made around your stoma! For one thing, what if you spill fecal matter on your still-healing tattoo? Infection City? What if your stoma leaks as you change the bag and gets fecal matter on your still-healing tattoo? You are an accident waiting to happen!

Sep 04, 2023 11:02 pm

I have to say, my tattoos are for me, not other people. I hate when nurses ask about them.

I have them because I'm an artist, and they have meaning to me. It's as much vanity as hanging artwork in your house, or putting on clothing. Everything you do says something about you, and I honestly find it strange that this form of self-decoration gets scrutinized, but not, say, wearing earrings or getting a haircut.

Mysterious Mose
Sep 05, 2023 1:09 am
Reply to RunJumpClimb

I agree with you. I did not mean to imply that vanity is always unhealthy. It's a trait not unique to humans. :-)


Sep 05, 2023 3:08 am

Why on Earth would you want to do this!

Sep 05, 2023 10:30 am

Hi Passion,

Search on here, it's been discussed before at length, both the pros and cons. There's really nothing more to say about it than that. Do what's right for you!


Sep 05, 2023 12:20 pm

The obvious problem is - what do you do while the tat is healing? I don't think the wafer can be applied over a healing tattoo for several days. What a mess!

Sep 05, 2023 12:48 pm

Too soon post-op to think about that. You still have a lot to learn. Keep coming up with ideas and enjoy creating them on paper. Hope you never decide to do this.

Sep 05, 2023 1:41 pm

I have to say I agree with Marvee. Waiting to heal would be a major problem.

But where and why is totally your business. I'd ask my doctor.

Sep 05, 2023 2:00 pm

You should avoid taping your peristomal area. Skin breakdown is common among us all. If you ever prolapse, worse! How about taping above & below your wafer/flange area? There is a product that resembles a magic marker. Called a StomaGenie. Slide it over your stoma & it is supposed to keep your poop contained. I have not tried it. A fellow Osteomate, on this site recommended eating marshmallows before changing appliances. It works, most of the time. Yes, it's best to change before breakfast. Beware, your output from not eating might send that nasty yellow liquid (InsideOut) down your belly. My appliance started to leak, shortly after dinner & 3-4 marshmallows worked well. Great for S'mores, too! Wait a few minutes. Good luck & stay healthy

Sep 05, 2023 2:03 pm

Not a good idea to have a tattoo. If you need a design that could be done. Draw one on the flange if you have a white two-piece. Just a thought or maybe not. Mike

Sep 05, 2023 2:20 pm

One thing to keep in mind if considering a tattoo is that your stoma may need to be moved to a different location. I've had my stoma moved to three locations so far because of hernias and other complications.

Sep 05, 2023 3:06 pm

You would be injecting bacteria into your skin.

Sep 05, 2023 6:06 pm

I would say anything outside of the bag barriers shouldn't be a problem but any closer I wouldn't recommend it for obvious reasons!!!