Relief for Itching Under Barrier

Little Red
Feb 28, 2019 9:32 pm

I think this is the question I have. After changing my pouch and several days later, my skin next to my stoma and around and under the barrier starts to itch and becomes irritated. Someone mentioned that they used calamine lotion and then stoma powder. Has anyone else used this and would it cause the pouch to not stick?

Past Member
Mar 01, 2019 2:10 am

The person who replied is a '**'.

Look up Cavilon 3343e, it acts like

a plastic film around your stoma, uro or colo.

Acts like and works to protect the area.

Hey ho

Best wishes


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Past Member
Mar 01, 2019 12:54 pm

I've never tried calamine lotion, but any kind of lotion or stoma powder can interfere with the sticking of the skin barrier. Do try the protective liquid skin barriers like Steve said. They might help protect the skin.

Doing the irrigation will probably help too. Once you get that down, you can "air out" your skin for long periods of time if you wish and that can certainly help with any skin condition. Good luck to you.

Past Member
Mar 01, 2019 4:46 pm

If it's possible, I would change to another make of pouch or try some free samples if you can get any. See if that helps with your skin. You could have become allergic to the ones you're using.

Mar 01, 2019 10:44 pm

I use calamine and stoma powder since I had my ostomy six months ago. The nurse told me then to also use an adhesive spray on skin and wafer. I have not had any problem with itching or pouch sticking. No leaks either. I do use a barrier ring because of how my stoma is a little recessed.

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister
Past Member
Mar 02, 2019 4:19 pm

I found that Hollister was the best product for me to use. It seemed that Convatec and NuHope did that to me. In the beginning, even with Hollister, I noticed I was getting a rash on my skin where the bag hung. I called my nurse and she mentioned I had to make sure that the bag gets dry after a shower and I should get powder for athlete's foot. That moisture causes a fungus on the skin. I use a two-piece and change the bag daily to make sure it's dry. I rinse out the used one and use it one more time when it's dry. That has cured that issue. I know you said yours was under the barrier, but I just wanted to add another piece of information that I found worked. Good luck!

Past Member
Mar 03, 2019 1:24 am

Hi Sis, that sounds fungal, bit rare but yeh.

Back to L red, if as has been mentioned you

may have a glue/bag allergy, made worse by

the moisture and heat around your stoma.

Sue was allergic to so much on her skin, probably

including me lol.

Anyway, the bags she was fine with eventually and

she didn't react to were 'Welland Aura', they have manuka

honey in the base glue, uro/colo etc, anti-allergenic


Mar 03, 2019 5:43 pm

Good morning,

I suggest you try using Eakin Cohesive Seals (ConvaTec). They come twenty seals to a box. They are soft, pliable, sticky rings.

Cut through the seal with scissors and wrap it around the edge of the stoma so the skin immediately around the stoma is protected from moisture.

Then proceed to place the connected wafer and pouch in place to cover the stoma. The cohesive seal will keep the skin area around the stoma nice and dry.

Try not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day you are planning to change your appliance.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Mike from Lakewood, Ohio

Little Red
Mar 03, 2019 6:16 pm

Good morning right back to you. I do have boxes of barrier rings but they are Hollister which may not make a difference. They are made so I can adjust the size them, I did use them a couple of times. I guess I should try them again at my last change yesterday because of a leak. I used a skin prep and Stoma powder layered, and will change that in 2 or 3 days. I usually can go 5 to 7 days, but because of this irritation, itching, and redness I have developed around my stoma, I am doctoring it now. Thank you for the suggestion. I will try it.

Mar 04, 2019 1:16 am

I discovered that frequent soaks in the bath weakened the seal and made it moist, which caused a red, itchy rash. Then, I put on some prescription cream (like Neosporin but stronger) and word to the wise...don't...the slimy texture means your seal looks sealed and yet isn't, and you will have a leak. I can't irrigate, so I just put a napkin under my stoma, added the prescription cream, wiped it off after 10 minutes, quick rinse off, added stoma powder, and put a new bag on. It wasn't a perfect solution, but the rash lessened.

Also, my skin is weird...for a while it didn't like Hollister adhesive, and now it does...minus dummy me getting it moist.

Little Red
Mar 04, 2019 2:32 pm

I talked to my ET nurse. She told me to cut up a bag/pouch and take a small piece of the barrier and place it on the inside of an arm, leave it there for a few days, and then I would know if I have an allergy to the adhesive. Well, I did and nothing happened, so I guess I am doing something wrong, so back to square one. Remeasure and try different ideas.

Little Red
Mar 04, 2019 2:39 pm

I also have a question. Can I put my bag directly over stoma powder or should I use a skin protective wipe, then stoma powder, another wipe, and then apply the bag? Also, when measuring, should I measure all the way to the outer edge of my stoma where it was stitched on my skin or just the stoma part itself?

Mar 04, 2019 4:43 pm
Hi Little Red, my name is Marsha, and I've had my ileostomy for over 50 years and a few years after the original surgery (I was 19) I had the diseased rectum removed. I was young, and it was a long time ago, but it was a process. Get your patience and sense of humor ready. There are no "stupid" questions, and we all make mistakes, but trial and error is the best teacher, as well as reaching out to others for advice. So try to refrain from calling yourself names. We all do make mistakes, so you need to be kind to yourself.

1) Yes, you can put the wafer/bag directly over the stoma powder. If not, I've been doing it wrong for over 40 years. Actually, I've tried it all ways, using a variety of different products to see what works for me. I have very sensitive skin and am careful not to use soap or body wash around the stoma site. I gave up baths years ago because the hot water softened the seal and allowed for leaks, and it also softened the skin and left a film that I didn't need. These days, I only take a bath or use a hot tub on a day I know I'm going to change... BTW, cold water doesn't have much of an effect, so I often go in the ocean or pool and rarely have a leak.

I recently went to a stoma therapy clinic, and they advised using the powder and then the wipe, which made no sense to me. So now, I'm not sure which is the "right" way. Right is what works for you. My procedure is to shower with the wafer/pouch on. Remove after... wash skin with very hot water and then with very cold water to close the pores and soothe the skin. Air dry. I use a new wipe, Safe n Simple, to first clean off the skin (after the shower). It's bigger than most wipes and feels better than a washcloth and doesn't fall apart like toilet tissue. It will also remove adhesive. (When I have a lot of adhesive left on the skin, I use unisolve, but be sure to wash it all off.) When the skin is clean, I use Smith and Nephew skin prep, which prepares the skin, and then use the stomahesive powder. Once dry, I put on the wafer (Convatec moldable/convex). If I have a gap between the wafer and the skin beneath the stoma, I fill it in with stomahesive powder (or sometimes use stomahesive paste). Then I attach the pouch and tape the edges of the wafer using a non-allergic tape. It works for me... except when it doesn't. So on occasion, I use other products or more or less of the same product. If I have no leakage, I can change in less than 5 minutes. Feel free to write if you have any other questions. Best regards, Marsha
Little Red
Mar 04, 2019 8:10 pm

Marsha, thanks for your understanding. I have a girlfriend who has had a colostomy for over 50 years also because of Crohn's disease. She doesn't want to talk about it. I really appreciate the members on this site; they have been very helpful. I am going to do as many have suggested - hit and miss. I will be changing more, 3 or 4 days instead of my usual 5 or 7, and see if that helps. And now, if I can figure out just how to measure my stoma, I will be set for a while. I shower with my bag on and then change. I clean around it with water only and then dry or let it dry uncovered for at least 10 minutes, then apply my appliance. I use Hollister 8331 drainable 1 piece. I have tried others but don't really care for them. I did really like another by Hollister but they stopped making it. Last night, after having dinner, I sat down to watch the boob tube and I got a pain like I never had before on my right side. It about sent me to the roof. It was on my lower right side, not my stoma side. It was gone in seconds, and then I felt my stoma expel gas. Has anyone else experienced this sort of pain? I have had it before, only near my stoma. Could this be gas pains I have heard about? Lord, it hurt.......

Little Lulu
Mar 04, 2019 10:16 pm

I was told to never use any kind of lotion around my appliance, as it will not stick.

Mar 04, 2019 10:55 pm

All it amounts to is your skin is telling you that it needs attention by changing your barrier and pouch. That's how I know it's time to change to a new fresh one, especially after several days like you mentioned. When my skin starts to itch or burn, I change, then I am good to go until next time.

Mar 04, 2019 11:07 pm

Calamine is what I was advised to use--it's great! Put on a very thin layer wherever skin looks red/dark pink/irritated. Thin! I timed it and it takes 2 minutes to dry sufficiently. The nurses here recommend it, and it even beat the 7/use Marathon product.

Mar 04, 2019 11:31 pm

Lots of good ideas to try. Here are the ones I think you should do for sure (and a couple of others).

1. No soap, water only, and take the pouch off in the shower to totally rinse your skin - your stoma doesn't mind water.

2. (This might be the most important) Give your skin as much air time as possible before applying the new pouch, even longer than your current 10 minutes. Standing over the toilet and/or a small wad of TP to catch things will facilitate this.

3. Make sure the skin is very dry before applying the new pouch.

4. Experiment with other brands and even the same brand over time - they tweak their formulas. They will all send you free samples. Coloplast works well for me.

5. The arm test for allergies might not be predictive because it does not emulate the true conditions.

6. Change more often. As the seal degrades, some output can start touching your skin even if it is not leaking.

A good dermatologist might also help if the problems continue.

Newbie Dana
Mar 04, 2019 11:33 pm

My ostomy nurse said to use the powder on the red irritated skin, then use a barrier spray over the top of that to provide a base that the wafer adhesive can stick to. She called it "crusting". I do not have particularly sensitive skin, and most of the time when I do get itching or irritation, it's because the adhesive of the pouch has loosened directly around the stoma and waste has infiltrated between the skin and wafer, causing the irritation. I guess I can blame the fact that I have a significant peri-stomal hernia, and the stresses cause that part around to stoma to loosen first. Hard for a flat wafer to fit on a hill! LOL!

Past Member
Mar 05, 2019 1:01 am

I had to stop wearing a pouch. The adhesive is what I was sensitive to. It left me with a big red ring. Good and warm water, and no chili. The more you eat, the more you go.

Mar 05, 2019 1:50 am

I have had that type of irritation underneath and what I have done that completely stopped it was to use Lotrimin powder. I put on the Lotrimin and then crust on top of that. I then use stoma powder and crust that. Of course, make sure everything is completely dry before putting on the wafer. I have had no issues with irritation since starting to use this method. Hope this helps. And as an aside -- I have tried the generic but Lotrimin powder is what worked!



Mar 05, 2019 2:13 am

Lil Red. Hope you get this all figured out! Like Marsha says, right is what works for you. I use nothing these days! I use a two-piece so only change every 10 days or so, and that helps that my skin is not subjected to so many rubs and pulls in the reapplication process. I also irrigate, so a two-piece is a must until you can graduate to a cap, and they also come in two pieces, but they are not as flat as the single-use ones. On change day, I irrigate first, then take everything off. Shower with nothing and use my same shower gel around my stoma as the rest of my body. Rinse well. If I do see any lingering adhesive, I will use an adhesive remover wipe but let it dry a long time and sometimes use the hairdryer to ensure it is dry. I also use the hairdryer to warm the new flange. Then apply. Never had any issues. I also shower with my pouch on the rest of the time and use the dryer to dry it out. That is only because it is so wet, it soaks through my clothes but probably helps the adhesive as well. Let us know what you finally find to help! We will all have this issue eventually, I am sure. I have just been lucky!


Mar 05, 2019 3:08 pm

I am one of the ones who use calamine lotion. It dries in seconds and I have never had a problem with my base/wafer not sticking. I change base twice a week on average and pouch twice a day. I never use soap or gels around the stoma, just a warm washcloth. I have had a stoma for 5 years and touch wood, no skin problems, occasional mild irritation hence the need for calamine. I think sometimes if you apply too many layers of products, that can cause irritation. Keep it simple, clean, and dry. That's enough.

Mar 05, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi, I cannot possibly be an a____ as I do not have one. How about them apples.

Mar 05, 2019 8:44 pm

Hey Red, the Hollister barrier rings worked very well for me.  I don't use any barrier rings anymore because I gained confidence from Convatec people and folks on this site.  Clean and dry seem to be key issues for adhesion and skin protection.  I think less stuff is better than more.  3m Cavilon No Sting Barrier Film does a good job.  

Once the skin gets irritated we're in the repair mode rather than just protection so we hope to avoid that.  Lots of wise caring folks here will help you.



Little Red
Mar 05, 2019 10:47 pm

Thanks Mike, you are not the only one that has told me that. I have ordered some Cavilon spray. I wanted some of the swabs but no one seems to have them.

Mar 05, 2019 11:32 pm

I've had an ileostomy for 40 years, and after about 20 years with no problem, my appliance wouldn't adhere due to weepiness and skin breakdown. I found the perfect solution for your problem. A community nurse suggested Topicort Gel, and I've never had another problem. Another name is Desoximetasone Gel USP, 0.05. Taro is the manufacturer in the U.S. Interestingly, I consulted an enterostoma therapist, a dermatologist, a gastroenterologist, and none of them had a viable solution. It took a community nurse at a hospital who was recommended by the surgical supply store to finally solve this very distressing problem. Good luck.

Mar 06, 2019 2:42 am


It is a shame that there is so little support out there for our needs! I am pretty sure that I have never talked to a nurse, Edgepark Rep., rep from Coloplast or Convetec that has an Ostomy and they may know their product but until you HAVE to use it; you really don't know! Nice to get all the input from experience here!


Mar 07, 2019 2:34 am

Hi Little Red. I tend toward increased skin irritation during the winter months when the air is dry. I change my appliance every 4 or 5 days. After removal, first wash the area with a 'skin-sensitive' soap and dab dry. Then I rub in a little TETRIX cream and let it soak in for a couple of minutes. After that, I apply the skin barrier cream and then adhesive paste. Attach the 2-piece bag and go. I don't use the additional flange as I find it to be just one more possible leak. Hope this helps. All the best - Silveradokid.

cats tails
Mar 07, 2019 9:03 am


Ask for a sample of Platinum with Vit E216612E Maxi

Also, ask for some flange extension strips

The pouches need a bit extra support

I suffered for a year until I found these, cleared up my skin in 4 days.

Hope this helps cats whiskers use Google