Gloves or No Gloves for Ostomy Bag Changes?

May 26, 2024 5:27 pm

Hi all,

I have been using gloves to empty and to change my ostomy bag. I'm really sick of buying gloves and needing to budget more nowadays. Do you all use gloves to empty and change or not?

May 26, 2024 5:39 pm


I do not use gloves when emptying or changing supplies. If you have a cut on your hand, it might be a good idea. Just make sure to wash your hands after.

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate

Why Join MeetAnOstoMate?

First off, this is a pretty cool site with 35,000 members who truly understand you.

It's not all about ostomy. We talk about everything.

Many come here for advice or to give advice, others have found good friends, and some have even found love. Most importantly, people here are honest and genuinely care.

🛑 Privacy is very important - we have many features that are only visible to members, ensuring a safe and secure environment for you to share and connect.

Create an account and you will be amazed by the warmth of this community.

May 26, 2024 5:44 pm
Reply to Looking66

Thanks! I was worried about the adhesive remover when changing because I use a stronger one but I'm going to give it a try.

I'd like to hear from others as well.

May 26, 2024 5:50 pm

Never even thought about wearing gloves. Didn't know anyone did. Guess you learn something new every day! Must get expensive after a while. Try going commando with the gloves and see how it feels.


May 26, 2024 6:09 pm

Never used gloves, just wash my hands after, just as I did pre-bag.

How to Manage Emotions with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Mysterious Mose
May 26, 2024 6:10 pm

I don't use gloves until the constant scrubbing of my hands opens up cracks in my skin. Mostly my thumbs and index fingers. This happens even when I grease my hands after every wash. I then will use gloves until the cracks heal. Then I start the process all over again. Usually, I use the same pair throughout the day, unless I get them dirty. This is all part of the price I pay for living in a semi-arid climate and also having been a tree planter in the 70s that refused to wear gloves. Vermiculite made a mess of my skin and I still pay the price for that 50 years later. I buy gloves in 1,000 count lots that run about $50. Not too bad cost-wise. Not all that great environment-wise though.


Mysterious Mose
May 26, 2024 6:13 pm
Reply to Ben38

I'll bet you didn't wash them quite as often, though. 🤓

May 26, 2024 6:37 pm

I use the shampoo with conditioner in it to wash my hands that I use on my hair and to wash my dog. Gloves cost too much. Conditioner in the shampoo keeps my skin happy.

Suave Kids 3 in 1 Silly Apple. 😸🐕🖐️✋

May 26, 2024 8:26 pm

Only use gloves when molding a barrier ring.

I just wash my hands really well when done emptying a bag or changing a wafer. Wearing gloves would be a pain in the butt.

May 26, 2024 8:46 pm

I've never worn gloves, just wash my hands well after, the same as I did after a poo pre-ostomy. My hands tend to crack from the constant hand washing, like Daniel, but you just lose so much dexterity wearing gloves, so I don't.


Mysterious Mose
May 26, 2024 9:06 pm
Reply to TerryLT

Not sure what dexterity is lost, Terry. Perhaps it is a matter of method. It really doesn't take a lot of manual dexterity to add water to my bag and empty it between my legs. It does take a bit of mental dexterity not to have a senior moment and let go of the bag prematurely! :-)


May 26, 2024 10:20 pm

No, I don't use gloves either - just wash my hands. I use the white Dove soap so my hands don't dry out so badly from the endless washing.

May 26, 2024 10:37 pm

That's a no from me.

May 26, 2024 10:54 pm

I asked the same question when I was in the hospital. I was told by an ostomate that she did initially but no longer. When you get a routine down, you do not need gloves. I too do not use gloves.

May 27, 2024 1:15 am
Reply to w30bob

I started today not wearing them.

May 27, 2024 1:26 am
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Yeah, I have eczema really bad, but my husband mentioned maybe the gloves are making it worse. My hands have been in cleaning supplies all my life, which ruined mine.

The only thing that I worry about is I use Smith and Nephew Resolve adhesive remover. It's pretty rough with alcohol in it. When I changed tonight, I just took the bag off in the shower with soap. It was a struggle as the base plate was really stuck on there good. The old stoma was due for a naked shower anyhow, and she loved it! Clean machine.

I usually buy 1000 gloves off of Amazon, but I'm questioning if they are not stored right. I've gotten a couple of batches that smelled like chemicals.

Our local Marc's discount store sometimes carries them for $1.99 for a box of 100, but a couple of times they had them stocked on top of where they had leaky plug-in air fresheners, so I stopped buying from there.

May 27, 2024 1:31 am
Reply to kittybou

Now that sounds like a good idea because I've been using Dawn or Softsoap and it seems too rough on my hands. I use Ivory or Dial White for the stoma area. Yeah, and that Suave is cheap enough for me to pick one up to try out.

May 27, 2024 1:32 am
Reply to Mysterious Mose

Oh, don't you hate that when you let the bag go prematurely? Lol. My poor bathroom floor, and it's usually got the rinse with it. Who wants to clean a bathroom floor at 3 am, right?

May 27, 2024 1:34 am
Reply to Kas

I used to use Dove Sensitive, but with me not working now, it's too expensive. My dermatologist gave me these tiny little samples of it to bring home, and my hands loved it.

Morning glory
May 27, 2024 1:35 am

I never wear gloves. I wash my hands and use lotion afterwards.

May 27, 2024 1:41 am
Reply to Beachboy

After my first ileostomy, the nurse asked me, "Why are you using gloves to empty? Just wipe and wash your hands like everyone else." So I went gloveless for emptying for quite a long while, 2 years maybe. Then I developed this eczema and started using them in case maybe melted adhesive might be bothering them. But thinking back, I was working when all that started and wondering if just maybe it wasn't that at all. It possibly could have been something I was coming in contact with at the client's home. So I'm excited to give this a shot again. It would save a hell of a lot of money.

May 27, 2024 7:33 am

No gloves ever.

May 27, 2024 8:24 am
Reply to Hisbiscus

I use Hollister Adapt 7760 adhesive remover wipes.  

Taking my time, this is how I remove my wafer with 2 adhesive remover wipes.

I shake the packet so any fluid inside goes to the bottom. I tear off the top and take out the pad. Lay the packet upright against the sink backsplash so excess fluid stays put.

Wipe the top of the wafer fabric tape. Gently lift and hold an edge, then push the skin down with a finger, across the tape length. I found if I pull the tape, it irritates my skin. I do this to the other 3 edges. Then I take the open packet and dump the liquid across the top of my wafer, between my skin and the wafer. This separates the wafer main seal. Once the top separates, I open another packet and use the edge of the remover wipe to separate the wafer seal down the sides. Also, dump packet liquid on the wipe when it dries out. I then use the wipe to separate the wafer bottom.  

I like the Hollister packets because they have lots of extra liquid in them.  

May 27, 2024 10:08 am

I wear gloves when emptying, I have since day one.

May 27, 2024 12:29 pm
Reply to Hisbiscus

While it is your body, there isn't a need to use gloves. Just wash your hands prior to and after changing. The gloves can actually remove some of the wafer adhesive. I have tried many of the adhesive removers and have not found one that helps with loosening the barrier ring. I always make sure to use my other hand to press down on the surrounding skin as I remove it in a circle. This way helps to prevent tearing the skin.

ron in mich
May 27, 2024 12:55 pm

Hi all, I didn't use gloves pre-ostomy and don't use them now.

Mysterious Mose
May 27, 2024 1:39 pm
Reply to DebinRI

I am not sure how using gloves to empty your bag is removing adhesive? If we are talking appliance application, then yes. The only time I use a glove there is when I press around the stoma to get a seal. Washing hands before and emptying my bag would kill my hands, no matter the type of soap. :-)

May 27, 2024 1:40 pm

May 28, 2024 12:14 am
Reply to DebinRI

Smith and Nephew Resolve Adhesive Remover will get that barrier ring off. They have another called Unisolve that works just as well. It has alcohol in it, but they also put aloe in there too.

May 28, 2024 7:19 pm

Convatec, I think, makes an adhesive remover called Essenta that I have had good luck with. Insofar as gloves are concerned, I initially wore them while emptying my bag, but then stopped. Now I just do what I did before... wipe and wash. Having said that, at times I am in an area where there is no running water. In those circumstances, I will glove up.