Tips for adhesion and perhaps showering


Hello All!

I am new to the Ostomy thing, at first all was well, but now having issues with the bag staying adhered for more than 3 days.  I have found that quite often after showering, the adhesive starts to loosen.  I have thought about purchasing a shower guard, but looking at them, not sure it will help?  My issue is at the top of the bag itself.

I am only 3 weeks out of surgery, had a large vertical incision, staples have been removed, but still have some swelling, one thing I have noticed is that my belly is all crinkly!  I am a small, petite woman.  Looking at the adhesive after placing the bag I can see it starting to pull up after a day or two.  I try to only shower in the morning and drying everything as best I can.

Any suggestions?  I have ordered some more bags from Amazon and my doctor has placed an order for me thru a medical supply company that will be covered by insurance, but I am just thinking that having to change this bag every 2-3 days is not the norm.

I appreciate any help and suggestions.





Hello and welcome.

I'm assuming you have a colostomy.  I had hernia repair mesh migrate and puncture my colon.  So I have a colostomy too.

My stomach looked like heck after surgery.  Took about 4 months before it started looking better/smoother.

What company makes your wafer/flange?  I use Hollister 2 piece system. 

I'm a small guy, now at one year post op.   Haven't had adhesion trouble.

I go 7 days between wafer change (every Sunday) and change bags 2-3 times a week.  I shower with wafer/bag off.  Water and soap will not hurt your stoma.  Use soap that has no lotions, fragrances, or color.  These chemicals will interfere with wafer adhesion.  I use Cetaphil soap.  I also don't let shampoo/conditioner wash down the front of my stomach when I rinse.  Pat skin around stoma dry, don't rub.  Be careful you don't brush stoma with towel edge.  Stoma bleeds easily.  Paristomal skin (around your stoma) must be dry and chemical free for best adhesion.  Clean stoma in shower with wet paper towel....gently.  Take a paper cup or paper towels in shower to catch any output from stoma.

During the week I shower with wafer/bag on  (put on new bag first). I use a handheld shower head and avoid directly wetting the wafer/bag.  After drying off, I remove bag, wipe with paper towel, then use blow dryer set on low to dry it.  Don't use toliet paper on your stoma, only wet paper towel.

Putting on a wafer after removing old one:

Use adhesive remover wipe, carefully wipe around stoma.  Use finger to test skin around stoma, lightly press on skin/lift.  You're looking for stickiness from old adhesive.  If still a little sticky, wipe again with adhesive remover.  

Cut hole in wafer to fit around stoma.  Leave about an 1/8 of an inch gap all around stoma.  Grab wafer, press and hold the flat side against your stomach or leg for a minute to warm it up.  Pull off plastic backing, place wafer on stoma.  Use both hands, gently press on wafer for a minute.  Change hand position, press again.  Use blow dryer set on low, blow on wafer for a minute.  If using a 2 piece system.. snap on bag.  I then put on an Ostomy support belt for an hour.  

If you continue to get leaks, your skin might be uneven.  There are moldable barrier rings you can use to create a flatter surface for the wafer to sit on.  Ring goes on skin first, then wafer on top of it.  Ring can be fitted right up against your stoma.  Wafer hole can be cut a little bigger.  Ring seals around stoma, wafer seals to ring.

Good luck, let us know what happens.

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 33,419 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.


Hello Kimmy

Investigate flange extenders with your stoma nurse for the edges starting to come away in the shower, they're great. I cut one piece in half instead of using a while section and stick one top and one bottom to prevent the edges coming away and a bit of security.


ron in mich

Hi Kim welcome to the site lotta good folks here that will answer any questions you might have, i use the solid pectin wafers and the edges get gooey after showering so i get nexcare pink tape at walmart and tape around the edges and that helps to last for my change every 3-4 days.


Explain the adhesive part better. Some bags have just the sticky wafer part while others, like Hollister, have a cloth edge that also sticks to you. If it’s just the cloth edge peeling back a little, I wouldn’t worry about it much, mine does it if I let the shower water hit the edge directly. I usually just put my arm over the top edge  of my bag to prevent direct contact from the shower while I stand under the hot steamy water for a bit. Also, everyone’s bag duration time is different, you may only get 2-3 days before needing to change. You are very new to this and still healing, give yourself some time to adjust and try various products, you’ll figure out what’s best for you. BTW, most shower thingys that promote a dry bag are pretty worthless. Bags are meant to get wet, Pat them dry or use a hairdryer for a couple of minutes on low to get it really dry if you want. 

Staying Hydrated with an Ostomy with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

You can get these barrier extender strips that you can use to keep the bag from coming up and pealing off. The ones i get are called ease strips but there are other names and brands of them. I use them if I go swimming. Also I change my bag every 3 days, if you have the supplies to do that they usually say change every 3 to 4 days at leas that is what I was told. 


Reply to Beachboy

Hello!  I am using Hollister 8901 1 bag system.  I was using 8931, but did not like the plastic.  Doctor gave me the fabric bag, empties much easier and no air in the bag.

I think I see what is happening.  I am very small and petite, but the area where the plastic piece and and bag adheres to is very crinkly.  Boyfriend made a comment to me last night when I leaked that the bag was right over my belly button.

Boyfriend thought perhaps the bag getting wet was an issue, or using the stoma powder.  He wrapped me in saran wrap last night before my shower. LOL  Still developped a leak in the middle of the night.


Reply to ron in mich

Thank you Ron!  Will have to see about that nexcare pink tape.  I did switch to a paper tape as the gauze tape was irritating my skin much.  So, changing bags every 3 days is normal?

Reply to infinitycastle52777

Thank you Lee!  So every 3 days is not unusual?  I had some of the strips that the hospital gave me, but could not seem to figure out how to use them as they were only sticky on one side.  I think I will be set for supplies, got 10 from Amazon and the medical supply company shipment should be here tomorrow.



I just purchased this, I haven’t tried it yet, because my dog chewed up the second belt so I can wrap it twice.

Reply to AlexT

Hi Alex,

I am using Hollister 8901 bags.  They have a circular adhesive and we place a wafer around the stoma.

I do make sure I pat the bag dry after showering.  I was thinking about getting a shower chair.  May help to prevent too much water on the bag.

So from what everyone is saying changing every 2-3 days is not that unusual.

I am going to submit a new question about the irritation from the adhesive stuff.  My belly is soooooo red.

Thank you much for your reply.



It's 2 - 3 for me.


I bought a shower guard but the opening is quite large and doesn’t really protect smaller flange/wafer sizes. It does help some though. Much better than plastic wrap! A handheld shower wand helps too. 

I find that using the hair dryer on low helps the adhesive re-activate after a shower. I’ve also found that stoma powder can interfere with adhesive on flange/wafers, if you’re using that at all. I’d recommend contacting other companies for samples if you’re up for trying new products. They will send you freebies and try to get you the right system. Good luck!


ps - I change my system every 3-4 days unless I spring a leak. Sometimes I can get 5 days but do just a bag change in between. 

Newbie Dana

Check out the AquaSeal from Costa Medical, or the Sure Seal Rings. I use a 2-piece, so I'm not sure how they would work with a 1-piece setup. Basically, it's a very thin (like plastic wrap) that goes on over the flange and beneath the pouch and extends out beyond the edges of the flange all the way around. And it grips your skin MUCH tighter and longer than the flange alone, especially if you have uneven or wrinkly skin, because it's so much more flexible than the flange at the edges. These thing GRIP in the shower much better than the flange does. With just a flange I generally get no more than 5 days, because the edges start to roll up and everything leaks. with these, I can get anywhere from 7-14 days before needing to change the flange. I use a 2-piece so I can use the sealed pouches (no emptying!) and go through 2-4 sealed pouches per day. It is worth it to me because I have more solid output and everything splashes if I empty it into the toilet (YUCK!). Good luck. When you first get your stoma, everything seems to be difficult, but after a few months, generally things even out and you get into a rhythm that feels like second nature to you. Hang in there - it definitely gets better after you finish experimenting and find the products that work best for you!


Hi Kimmy,

Welcome to the community! 
Osty following a complete proctocolectomy since 1993. I struggled the first year or two with leaks, how long to keep it on, diet, skin issues, sweating, showers, swimming, weather conditions (humidity or dry), and yeast. I live in South.

In the warmer seasons, I change 2x week. In cooler dryer seasons, I can stretch it to 5-7 days depending on my diet. 

I switched products several times. I settled on Hollister 2 piece w convex flange, Cavilon No Sting Barrier, stomahesive powder, and medical adhesive spray for when my skin is dry. 

I would definitely see the stoma nurse. Maybe get some flange and pouch samples from the manufacturers. 

My heart goes out to you. I will never forget how difficult the first year or so was. 



I’m a WOCN chiming in… wear time can vary so much based on many factors-the type of output (urine, liquid, solid) and sweat, oily skin types, activity, type of wafer ect

A national study done showed the “average” was 3-4 days. I have known ostomates to get only 2-3 based on creases and liquid output ect and some to get 7-10. There is no right or wrong -just what works for you. We do all make layers of dead skin cells so your body is unique to you

For Kimmy situation- you said you’re using hollister 8901 - that is a flat 1piece. Without knowing more details, you would need to have well budded stoma(that doesn’t go in and out too much)  and most likely a wax/moldable ring with the wrinkles you mentioned 

if you have a crease at navel and if your output is at all liquids then I would recommend a sample of the soft convex - it has the belt tabs if needed but will give you a much better “water tight seal” 

Newer ostomates may not realize how much the stoma goes in and out through the day/night- we all have peristalsis going on all day - moving things thru the intestines like an accordion and your stoma -whether urostomy,  ileostomy or colostomy will go in and out a little while things are moving.  I’ve seen beautiful budded ileostomy going almost flush when lying down or before expelling- if this is the issue then soft convex would definitely be a good try 

Best if luck- this community is such a beautiful thing 


Welcome Kim, to MaO.   I'm 4 yrs post op Ileostomy.   Hated Mayo's system, wet pouches=short life.  Between the Web & Bookets, you will get many methods of showering.  Bag off is popular.  My "little buddy(Gilligan)" barks(poop) as I step out, hassles & more cleaning.  Leader of my local UOAA uses a cap w/ tissue inside.  A standard stoma belt keeps it on.  All kinds of devices out there & cost money$$.                                                                                                                      I made my own device!  An 4+mil piece of clear plastic, 8" X 12"(approx).  Tape your pouch up to the top.  Put a seal on any filter, as moisture can plug it up.  It comes w/your box of pouches.  Seal the sides w/ silicone tape.  Wet on top of pouch?  If not a water leak, SWEAT is the issue.  I took 3 dessicant bags(comes in your new electronics) & also taped to the top of my pouch,. Bone dry! Reusable for long time.  The silicone tape wears out after 3--4 uses.   You can order clear silicone tape on line (Grainger makes it).  Perforated every 2", so easy to tear.  lasts forever.


Hi Kimmy,

I wear a one-piece Convatec urostomy bag. I tried Hollister, but I didn't like the adhesive or the valve. When I shower, I place a sheet of Glad Cling Wrap over my bag with about 4" of coverage on the top and the two sides. Water still gets under the Cling Wrap a bit, but I think it helps because it doesn't pound on the edges. As soon as I dry off with a towel, I dry the adhesive strip with a hair dryer on low, moving the air flow over the edge constantly so as not to warm up the inner seal. Whether or not this approach actually works (who knows?), I manage to get to six days before I need to change. On that sixth day, I shower without the bag, and I wash the area around my stoma with Cetaphil Extra Gentle Daily Scrub--it's oil and fragrance free so it doesn't interfere with the adhesive and, as the name indicates, it's very gentle on my skin. Good luck! You've gotten lots of helpful advice here!

Reply to Beachboy

Ferndale mastisol help with holding the wafer. If still have problems. U can also use benzoin compound tincture which have help with lasting longer. I have that problem n that help me have last longer. I have my bag for over 10 years. I still learning n this site help me. I never thought of a cup. I have try that. . Thanks. Hope I help you. Thanks



Showering I just get a black bag ie the disposable one use sellotape and fix it over and round the pouch works every time


Hi Kimmy… the 2-3 day time period between changes is very common for several of us. I change every 4th day. I may be able to get maybe one more day from time to time but I just have and feel more secure changing on Day 4. I use a convex pouch with a barrier ring around my stoma and seem to have good luck. I’ve had my permanent ileostomy since 2018. It’s very much a learning process and you will eventually figure out what product works for you and how often you need to change. For the pool or swimming in a lake or ocean I use the half moon barrier strips around the edge of my wafer. They work pretty well. They are from coloplast. Lot of good information from fellow ostomates. Hope it helps!



Hi Kimmy, I have a few thoughts for you. First of all, I have a horrific scar because when they sent me to skilled nursing after my lengthy stay in the hospital, the skilled nursing had no one else with an ostomy and had no supplies. Hence my scar got very infected from the leakage going into the scar. I don’t think it’ll ever look great, but I’m using the Scaraway scar strips and I’ll keep you updated on how they’re working. I just started with one last week. I ordered a plastic round thing from Amazon to cover the bag when I take a shower. It works great if you know how to rig it up.  it comes with a belt so you make it as tight as you possibly can and then put the pink tape that everyone’s rest referencing over the top of it and maybe even along the bottom if you’re worried about your pouch getting wet. I think the thing is wonderful. You just have to preferably work with an empty bag so you can fit it all in the plastic thing.  As far as the redness, I’ve been using Hydrocolloidal sheets where I cut out for the stoma. I use the stoma powder very lightly first and then put on the whole hydrocolloid sheet and then everything else. And yes, those flange extenders are wonderful. My skin was raw, and I developed a small infection along the side of the stoma. I think it was the skin prep that was really irritating me. I seem to be OK with the adhesive remover. Mine was baptism by fire  as it was an emergency Ostomy. I had no idea. Neither did anyone else at the skilled nursing. I hope that helps anyone a little bit. I had my surgery at the end of October. 


Hydrocolloidal tape borders will not stick as well as acrylic tape. Check the type of wafer you are using. For me, Skin Tac helps if I apply it and dry it with a hairdryer before putting on the wafer. I keep a stoma belt on the first 12 hrs just to keep things secured and let the adhesive settle in. I typically get 7-10 days wear time that way. 

Reply to Beachboy

Beachboy, Do you not use stoma paste or barrier ring around the stoma in order to seal off that 1/8 inch gap/area?

Reply to Kimmy050263

As recommended, try paste in crinkled area. That's what we had to do with my husband until he gained a little weight. It also helped preventing leaks when he started wearing an ostomy belt. In addition, we use CicaSolution soft ostomy tape around the entire flange. It seems to work best for us.