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Washing a stoma

Posted by lostchild80us, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:47 am

I was having trouble with my bag leaking and changing it 3 times a day so I had to result to going to the ER in order to get help changing my colostomy bag , If I put a new bag on yesterday and today I want to shower How do I wash the stoma without washing away the adhesive barrier ? I don\\\'t like getting a shower and not washing the stoma It makes me feel like I\\\'m not washing my entire body. My health is bad and I\\\'m so scared to have the reversal yet I hate living like this I can\\\'t seem to get use to it and I spend 6 hours a day changing bags that leak. I managed to put on a new bag today and get a shower now 5 hours later the adhesive barrier is all in the bag mixed with feces , around the stoma is burning and by 9am I\\\'ll be changing yet agan. Do other people have these problems or am I the odd ball ! ughh I\\\'m so depressed.

Reply by WAB, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:26 am


I do not know if this will help you...but give it a try........ask for some samples....I shower all the time with my flange on..........and can wear it 4 to 5 days and also wash around the stoma area and I have never had could be the product you are using......

....I use Hollister New image flanges.....and I uses the coloplast stick form around the hole opening..........if I am replacing the flange..I use a hollister glue remover and then lots of soap........before putting on a new flange I use a skin prep to remove any possible residue that is left...............then take a hair dryer and completely dry the area and put on the new flange.........

I am also using hypo fix in strips to tape around the can buy it on line....they have a web site.............


Doing all this I have never had problem washing the stoma flange in the shower if I am going to leave it on.........Hllister is usung a great glue that stays put with heat and humidity...

Ask Hollister for some free samples ......and coloplast for the strips..........

I hope this helps you..........


Reply by mild_mannered_super_hero, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:26 am

hello, and welcome to the forum. leaks are very common when you are just learning, but have faith you will master this as we all have.

the first thing i would suggest is to tell us how you prep the area before you install the flange. a common newbie mstake is to wash with a soap that contains perfumes or oils.....very few common soaps are acceptable. i can tell you that yellow dial works, others may also, but i have no experience with them. the area under the flange must be clean, dry, and the skin healthy. another tip, not all ostomy products work with all skin must experiment to see what works reliably for yours.

avoid high fiber foods, especially when you are new.....every bit of fiber you eat, comes right back.

untill you get your routine down, eat foods high in protien and LOW in fiber.   call all the ostomy product makers and talk directly to their help line, they will send you samples of different products to try free of charge and you can quickly find out what works. others will be along to add tips, have faith and ask questions....we are glad to help. keep us posted of your progress .good luck and god bless

Reply by beyondpar, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:20 am

DO NOT WASH YOUR STOMA................Thats like "  I want to wash my intestines clean"    and that makes no sense............Your Stoma is designed to be immersed in poop its whole life and that is its natural habitat,  if you do anything to it, you will alter the healthy bacterial balance...Michael

Reply by WAB, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:44 am


Beyondpar has an opion .....not sure if it is medical or hygenic.......but check out this site for care and cleaning of stoma and stoma area..........

Reply by beyondpar, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:56 am

My resoponse is just common sense,  do not wash your stoma,  you can wash around your stoma all you want and thats ok,  but the Stoma should be left alone,  if you do anything running clean water over it during a shower is all i would recommend.

Past Member
Reply by Past Member, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:09 am

I was told to wipe the stoma clean with warm water only, dry it carefully, apply a barrier wipe, then a protective 'washer' (for want of a better word), the Hollister one piece bag, goes on next, and secured by two half moon shaped flange extensions for extra confidence, I have to change every day, keeping the previous day's bag on during a shower, by then, it's so wet and soggy it wouldn't last any longer,- in any case it gives a feeling of being clean for a short time. A small piece of toilet tissue in the bottom of the bag every time it's emptied and cleaned, plus a tiny amount of vaseline on the inside near the cut out for the stoma, before it's applied, helps everything slip down and stops pancaking. Light pressure above the stoma lifts it slightly and makes it fit better, sitting down on the loo, with toilet paper under the exposed stoma to catch any unwanted activity- soft toilet paper soaks up more quickly than anything else, and if you have gone several hours without eating or drinking as in overnight, so much the better, job completed in less than 5 minutes and all ready to get on with your day. just a few tips learned from 8 years' experience!

Reply by beyondpar, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:21 am
**** are you changing your applaince everyday?  I get 1-2 weeks wear time from my wafers.  Interested to hear why...Michael

Reply by WAB, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:24 am

Ok Michael............lets have do you get 2 weeks out of a wafer............?

Reply by WAB, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:26 am

By the way...has the chat room been shut does not work at my end and was fine yesterday................................

Reply by beyondpar, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:58 am

at WAB,  although i feel like Superman ever since getting my Ostomy in 2007, i can assure you I was a very sick man for most of my life,  and If I were you ,I  would be a little more selective in my choice of words as they seemd a bit condescneding and sarcastic towards me..  the answer to your question is Convex moldable wafer,  and Less is more,  and yes i get sometimes three weeks wear time,  and i change my drainable pouch every 3-5 days.  so that means 1 wafer and maybe 3 puches every two weeks...............The manufacutrers would love you to change everyday,  thats more money to them,  but let your body tell you when its time to change.  Your skin will tell you....Michael

Reply by WAB, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:31 am


Your words.......

My resoponse is just common sense,  do not wash your stoma,  you can wash around your stoma all you want and thats ok,  but the Stoma should be left alone,  if you do anything running clean water over it during a shower is all i would recommend.


Sorry young man I still do not agree with you........what works for some does not work for others.....and you can wash your mild soap and water and rinse only hygenic to do so...water is better.......but mild soap can be used.....I am curious how many wash their stoma............

Here is back at you are touchy............did you read any of the links I posted...........anyhow...........

Reply by Zywie, on Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:41 pm

I didn't look at any links and I'm not going to.  Not sure where superman comes into any of this. Didn't see where beyondpar was touchy.  Since you asked if anyone else cleans their stoma I am replying.  I was told by several nurses and a doctor NOT to actually wash the stoma.  Just run clear, cool water over it when you are in the shower. The reason being that the actual stoma is very sensitive and running any kind of cloth or touching it on purpose could make it bleed. Since (according to the professionals) this thing has no nerve endings to feel, it's not a good idea to try because you won't feel if you are hurting it.  Same with water,  if you use too hot a water you could be burning it and not know because you can't feel.  In between showers I put cool water in the bag and swish it around until all is clean.

I had a hard time with keeping it sticking also for the first few months.  After reading many things on here I started using the adhesive remover before my shower, using the type of soap suggested (Dial my preference) around the area then making sure it's totally dry before applying a new one. I am usually lucky that I can let it air dry before applying the new wafer. Since I don't own a blowdryer I just hold it tight against my belly for about a minute or two to help it adhere better.  I have gotten a week to two weeks wear since starting this procedure for showering and changing. 

Reply by veejay, on Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:15 am

My my, you certainly have received some 'advice' haven't you?

If you do have a colostomy and not an illieostomy, the answer to your problems is irrigation.

Contact your stoma nurse if you have one or google.....all you need to know is there.

As for washing your stoma and the area around it, go right ahead, you cannot hurt is dead, it has no feeling. You can even stick your finger in there. Yes gross I know, but in time you will get the hang of it.

Fully understand your depressed state, most have been through that especially when you are 'new' but if you can irrigate a great weight will be lifted off you shoulders. Good luck.


Reply by WOUNDED DOE, on Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:36 am

I've had my ostomy for 38 years .... speaking from a broad spectrumm of experience I agree with beyondpar 100% as most of us also agree with beyondpar though they will not likely post  ........ NEVER wash your stoma ........ nothing more than the gentle rinse or bagless shower should be done there.  A gentle rinse if you wish is fine and a delicate soft blot dry...other wise don\'t mess with is intestine, not skin, and thus should not be treated the same is also true about the required balance of bacteria, allow stoma to maintain it's intended funtion as best posible.

Beyondpar is another very pleasant and supportive Ostomate who has more than an opinion, but also has more experience and knowledge than many on this site and a very respected Advocate for us all ...... beyondpar also has a far more friendly and professional personality and ability for tolerance for snide others on this site like our infamous Mr. WAB .......... newcomers try to ignore some of the rude side of WAB's posts, or, unleash on him....if at any time he gets too nasty mention it to Administration...don't put up with it.......people have had trouble with certain members in the past and there is a line we will no longer allow them to cross.  Plain and simple.

WAB behave've had hoards of people upset with you in the past and that didn't go very well for you did it..........don't go down that road again and especially do not step rudely on the toes of a far more respected member of this site who has generousy earned that status. 


For newcomers I might sound a bit stern at the moment.........for others who have been here, you remember exactly many reasons why.


As for our original post inquiry, make up your own mind dear and you will find a lot of positive loving support from most of us, also from Ostomy Nurses, but often time those who have been dealing with ostomies for many years have been known to share a great deal of helpful advice to our Ostomy Medical Teams from other aspects they would normall be unaware, that they can in turn pass along to other patients of theirs......

Please do take care and let us know how things are going for you ....





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