Need help with stoma redness and irritation before wafer application

May 29, 2011 4:54 pm

What's the best solution for redness and irritation around the stoma before applying the wafer.

May 29, 2011 6:13 pm

I don't know what products are available in the States but I use a product called SkinSafe. It's a wipe that leaves a protective film around the whole area.

Another trick of mine is to change your bag when you have plenty of time - in the evenings I sit with my bag off for about an hour to let the air get to the skin. Wipes, toilet paper, or tissues are essential if you are going to do this though.

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May 29, 2011 8:03 pm
hi joe I found this question on one of the old post from 2009 from our awsome ostomy nurses. We sometimes forget that we have them right at our finger tips!! she said and I copy and paste it because its stuch a good answer!
First step is to figure out why your skin is getting irritated. Usual things: opening cut too large, or leakage/gap from the appliance to your skin. Somehow stool (I am assuming) is getting on to your skin or under your appliance......OR, you may have a fungal infection. Usually if fungal, the itching is there too, but they sure can sting and be red also.

If fungal, an antifungal powder (just ask your pharmacist for an over the counter brand) rubbed into the area, then dusted off and seal with a Sting Free type of sealant (Cavilon, No Sting Skin Prep, Reliamed Sting Free, etc) before doing your usual pouching. I'd change it about every 3 days so you can keep treating your skin.

If from leakage: I'd re-measure your stoma to make sure the stoma opening fit is correct.
You can also check when you sit if you have skin creases or folds. If so, you may consider convexity or fillers into the creases (Eakins or Coloplaste strips, etc) and a barrier ring (Eakins, Adapt) around the stoma. Belt might help too.

It is hard to get adhesion to denuded and moist skin. You may have to change it every couple of days until skin healed if it is very moist.

It is possible also to develop a contact dermatitis to the is usually pretty obvious as the skin will be red in the same shape of the offending part of the appliance that comes in contact with your skin. If this is the case, you will need to switch to another brand.

Sorry about the essay...just trying to cover all bases. If you have an ostomy nurse or can call her and describe, that might be the best way to get your skin back in shape.
Best of luck.
* Certified Wound and Ostomy Care Nurse
* Registered Nurse
* Bachelor of Science in Nursing
May 29, 2011 8:55 pm

If the irritation is fungal, a non-prescription powder called Mycostatin works for me very quickly.

May 29, 2011 10:04 pm

A WOCN told me to use Maalox and it does take the itch right away quickly. Your pouch may not stick too well after, so try to leave it on for 15 minutes or so before wiping off. Awww, but it feels so good. You might try Cavilon no sting skin prep also; it helps to seal off your skin from the adhesive.

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May 30, 2011 12:49 am

I use "Skin Prep." It burns a little upon application, but I find it effective.


May 30, 2011 4:11 am

I agree with the poster who said it really helps to 'air things out' before reapplying another set, as long as you are able to cope with flow for a while without protection.
When I bathe or shower, I put hair conditioner on the skin around the stoma and leave it on for 2-3 minutes. I find that it really helps cut down on irritation, it all rinses clean away and doesn't have any adverse side effects.

If you are experiencing irritation where the flange glue meets your skin, you can actually put the Medipore white tape on your skin first and then glue the flange to that. When I had an ongoing issue with irritation, I would do this every other time and it really cut down on the amount of irritation I was experiencing.

May 30, 2011 9:34 am

See your stomal therapy nurse! If not, that easy, yes, like Traci's advice, actually, cause it's all true. It depends. You might need to change your company. Does anyone here get ostomy magazines from their countries?

Past Member
Jun 06, 2011 1:52 am

Hi, I had trouble with redness and irritation around my stoma, and my local ET nurse told me to wipe the area clean. Then, by applying stomahesive powder around the stoma and wiping away excess, making sure all dust is wiped off, so your wafer gets a clean surface to adhere to.
Also, I have used a pill bottle of mouthwash and a q-tip to go over the area around the stoma.
Where it is an antiseptic, it will prevent the broken-down skin around the stoma from being infected from fecal matter. Dan M, ostomy user since 1993 in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Jun 09, 2024 4:43 am

There is a product by Medline called MARATHON. It comes in vials which are for single use, so it's expensive, but that's the gold standard for excoriated skin protection and healing. It's sting-free and available on Amazon. There are similar cheaper liquid dressings, which is what this is called, but definitely check for sting-free or you will make contortions similar to a fine guitarist from the pain. I might add that New Skin also makes a sting-free version, but it's not nearly as good.