Issue with Irritated Skin Around Ileostomy


Hello everyone, I am asking a question about the skin around my ileostomy. It is quite red and sore. It looks like it is irritated where the stitches are starting to dissolve but it is really burning. My first stoma used to be about 1 1/4th inches but the stoma nurse told me this one is a little larger, about 1 1/2 inches. I am not sure if I should be cutting the skin barrier a little smaller or not. If I put the wax ring over the sore skin it will really cause a problem when I remove it for changing. I called my ostomy nurse who didn't seem real concerned about it and told me just to watch it. I don't have a fever and the area isn't warm. There are some bumps but I think it is where the stitches are. I don't think those bumps are from an infection. I tried to put stoma powder on it but I am not sure how much to put on. I also have some cream that numbs pain but I don't know if it is safe to use it. Are there any other things I can do to heal it up without having to go back to the hospital? Would soaking in a tub of warm water help it or make it worse?


I would not cut the barrier smaller. This will cause some pain as the stoma dilates while material is passing out. This will also increase significantly the chances of leakage. What you can try is to gently roll back the barrier slowly with your thumb so that it will fit snugly around the stoma. Imagine a turtle sticking its head out of its shell. This is the effect you want. The stomahesive powder you mention is good. Apply it slowly around the stoma and gently work it with your fingers to a paste-like consistency. You might want to also apply skin prep before the powder via a skin prep wipe before attaching your wafer.


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Hello Freedancer,

I think if your new stoma is larger than your previous one, you would need to cut the hole slightly bigger, not smaller. You need to measure your stoma to find out the new size.

Last year, the skin around my stoma was in a state and so sore. I found out I had contact dermatitis from using Eakin Slim rings. It turned out I was allergic to them. My skin was very red and weeping. After trying various dressings covered with that second skin tape for a week or so, it was still sore. So, I started using the powder liberally and blowing off the excess with one of those rubber bulb things. Then, I would apply Brava spray and dry it with a hairdryer. I did this twice at each change and after a day or two, I noticed I started to heal. I now do this at every change and have had no more trouble (fingers crossed!). Also, what I did when it was at its worst was I got some cardboard kidney dishes and would sit without my bag for a while, holding the kidney dish under my stoma - just in case!

I now cut my bags slightly bigger and put some paste around the base of my stoma before putting my bag on, and this works for me, along with the powder and spray.

Take care,



With an ileostomy - the output is pure digestive enzymes and bile plus water and sediment for what you have can actually get a skin burn if the output touches your skin for a few minutes....stomach acid burns.......solution.....try to make sure when you change your bag the area around your stoma is clean and free of's a small window of time when changing the bag


Hello, I just got out of the hospital for severe dehydration due to my new ileostomy I just got. Long story short, this time around I had a nurse that knew about this come to my room and change my bag and clean it very well. She used a powder you can buy at the pharmacy and/or spray you can put around the irritated area to minimize the pain you are getting because of the output. I can message you tomorrow since I don't have the names of the things on hand if you like. Sorry, just came on and wasn't prepared to even answer anything. I was just browsing.


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Hi Freedancer,

We follow an ostomate on Facebook, Vegan Ostomy. He does helpful blogs/videos on many problems ostomates come across. This past week, he did a bit on crusting. Crusting is one way of protecting your skin around the stoma to help it heal. Once we get started watching his videos, we find ourselves watching one after another. If you are not on Facebook, here is the link to his blog/video on crusting.

I hope this helps a little along with all the other answers you get.

Have a good day.


I feel your pain and frustration. When I was in the hospital, my skin was so irritated, red, and weeping from being changed 15 times in a day. Anyway, I used a product called Marathon by Medline. It truly changed things for me and my skin. I was seen by an osteomyelitis nurse through our hospital that worked in the wound care division. I would see her two to three times a week initially to help heal my skin. She would use this and it cleared my skin up within a week. It is pricey and it has to be ordered by a medical pharmacy or supply office. It is $100 a box and it has 10 vials. Now, I am able to use the crusting method that I believe someone mentioned earlier. I put the powder on and massage it around and then use the stoma spray and make sure the powder is fully moistened. I will do this up to three times if my skin is really bad. Hope this helps. Happy healing. Prayers for you. If you need anything, please let me know.

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Hi freelancer,

So much information, your head must be spinning. Don't be discouraged as most of us have had some issue or another, especially when our ostomies were new.

The truth is that you don't know what is causing your distress. You still have stitches, so your ostomy is still healing. I would say to make sure your hands are always clean if you don't use gloves.

If you've been given the okay to shower and get your ostomy wet, the next time you change your wafer, take a shower and let some lukewarm water and a little bit of dial soap (unscented white) gently rub around your stoma for a few seconds only. Let the water run over the area, making sure the area is thoroughly rinsed. Check with your ostomy nurse to make sure this is okay first.

You asked about soaking in water. I would never consider getting into a bathtub. You would introduce all kinds of bacteria to your stoma and probably vice versa.

Everything else is trial and error. You have to figure out if there's an infection, allergies to the products you're using, etc.

I had a yeast infection and it was terrible. Red, irritated, weepy so my wafer wouldn't adhere and had to be changed daily most of the time. It took weeks to figure out the problem. The cure was 2 miconazole antifungal powder. Over the counter, any brand.

It's very important to make sure the entire area is dry. I wipe the entire area with my skin barrier and make sure it dries completely. I then take a gauze pad, fold it in half because I have better control when it's smaller. I shake the powder on the gauze then dust it around the entire area where the wafer will cover all the way to the stoma. Quickly but carefully center the wafer opening over the stoma and hold it in place for at least a minute to make sure it adheres.

I saw excellent results by the next change.

If I were you, I would try one thing at a time and give it a couple of changes to determine if whatever you've tried is working.

Just remember there's no one-size-fits-all solution. We're all different. Be patient. This too shall pass.

You'll get there.


Past Member

One more thing, freedancer. There shouldn't be any skin showing between your stoma and your wafer. Your wafer should be as close to a perfect fit without actually touching your stoma. Myself, I use a barrier ring. I attach it to my wafer before I apply it to my skin. I make sure the barrier ring opening is slightly smaller than my wafer opening. When I apply it, the barrier ring actually is flush against my stoma without squeezing it. That's what works for me.

I have also watched the vegan ostomate videos. They are very good.


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