Plastic vs. Paper: Which is Better for Ostomy Appliances?


Hey guys...I have a quick question. Are plastic wafers better than paper (or maybe it's material) ones? I use a paper 1 and...while it does a good job, there are still majorly annoying features. The material used for the appliance burns my skin after maybe 2 days into being put seems to cause a rash of some sort (ostomy nurse said it was a yeast infection) where I will take the water off there are a lot of clumps of red slight raised red bumps that irritate my skin and makes my skin itchy (which is annoying as hell since I can't get under the water in order to either scratch them or pat them with some cool water)...and (at least mine does) it comes practically straight off of my skin so I always have to end up changing it if it gets wet. Taking a shower is difficult and any kind of swimming is out of the question. I've tried every trick I've found online or on here and nothing has yet to stick after wet.

In the past, there have been times where I had to temporarily wear a plastic wafer because I either ran out of them or the Dr attempted to use a plastic 1 in order to replace the 1 I was using and it actually did work for a bit...but always started leaking after a few days. I was so nervous about getting it wet that I refused to even try to go for a swim or anything w it. I'd love to be able to do that without constant fear of leakage. Not to mention showering. So my question is, would finding a plastic appliance that's my stoma size and is concave better in my case? For those of you who are using them...does it adhere nicely into the skin and remain strong? Are they pretty much waterproof at all? For those with sensitive skin, do the plastic 1s have a tape that is hypoallergenic? Is it more breathable than the material 1s? Which brand and name would you recommend?

Please reply with your thoughts or advice, ok? Thanks!


I've had my colostomy now for 5 months and have been using a Hollister Ceraplus 11203 flange with an Adapt 8805 barrier ring. I have had no issues at all. I started out at 3 days wear and worked up to 7 days. I have never had a leak. I went on a cruise to Mexico last month and went swimming and snorkeling with no problems. I also prefer to soak in our tub rather than shower, also with no issues. I do wear a Stealth Belt Pro 24/7 though. Hope you find something that works for you.

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Good morning Tink,

I have never had any skin issues and do not use any skin products underneath my wafer. I use the Coloplast (plastic wafer) two-piece and the Convetec (material wafer), and both work equally well. I get 10 days out of my flange as a rule. I shower with it on and am in my pool almost every day with no change in the longevity of the flange. I have used the Y-shaped Bravo barrier strips around my flange as an extra layer of protection before I realized I really did not need it. Many people on here have made suggestions for products to cure the yeast infection and to layer under the pouch for protection, but I cannot recall the products, but they will be in the forum topics!

Hope you find the answer to this problem. I am sure it is frustrating.


ron in mich

Hi all, recently my local supplier ran out of the pectin-based wafer I use (Convatec) and substituted it with the band-aid style tape. I was only able to wear two of them before the skin irritation started. Fortunately, I was able to find another supplier that had the type I use.


Hi Tink.  Unfortunately your quick question might not get the right answer too quickly.  Most of us have gotten comfortable with our appliances and methods of dealing with them through some experimenting, questioning other folks, Ostomy nurses and probably some discomfort along the way.    There are some fundamentals that apply to all of us.  The skin needs to be clean, dry (really dry) and no soap residue.  We shouldn't use soaps with fragrances or any oils.  A hair blow drier is an important tool for most of us.  Beyond that, we're different from each other and our skin might react differently.  I strongly recommend you try what works for others and hope you find the right stuff quickly.  

Do whatever you need to avoid the infections.  Just a few things folks use are Marathon Liquid Skin Protectant, Colloidal Silver, Benzoin tincture, Duoderm, Friar's Balsam and Cavilon Barrier film.

Keep it DRY and share the good news with us when you're comfortable.



Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Great advice Mike!


I had what seemed like every skin ailment at my stoma known to man for the first 18 months after surgery. It was horrible, painful, you all know the drill.

My local-ish store, Ostomy Center in KC, were the ones to finally crack my code and I've ended up with less is more. I used a thin wax ring, a Hollister two-piece that has the small snap ring (1 3/4 inch I think?) and no adhesive/barrier products on my skin. At my best, I get 3 days from a barrier but at least I don't have pain or irritation. No matter what I do, I find I start to leak after the 48-hour mark almost on schedule, it's rare that I make it 72 hours. Such is life. Try less stuff on your skin, might help.


Less is best for me as well!

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