What Are Protective Sheets?
Protective Sheets are used to create a physical barrier between your skin and wafer in order to allow skin to heal better. This can come in handy if you’ve experienced irritation or skin allergies that have been difficult to manage.
How Protective Sheets Are Usually Sold
These products are usually sold in square sheets, but some brands offer them in rectangles or oval shapes. You might find these in boxes of 5 or 10 individually sealed sheets, but I’ve also been able to purchase them individually from my local medical supply store. Because these sheets are quite expensive (over $8 / 4″x4″ sheet), it’s worth checking to see if your insurance covers them before ordering a bunch.
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How to Use Protective Sheets
Because these sheets can be cut to work in several different scenarios, instructions will vary, but for the most part, I’ve been advised to use them pretty much like a wafer: Measure a hole so the stoma fits in the center of the sheet, and apply to skin; then apply your actual wafer on top of the protective sheet.
This product should be used to correct temporary issues, but if you continue to have ongoing trouble, it’s best to have a stoma nurse assess your situation thoroughly.
While these sheets do have an adhesive on them, many people (including me) find that these sheets aren’t as secure as ostomy wafers, so applying a wafer extender or medical tape may help to keep everything together.
Tips When Using Protective Sheets
- Protective sheets are not designed for extended wear, and should be replaced within within a few days.
- Some ostomates will use sheets over other prep (barrier wipes, barrier rings, stoma powder, etc.). While there is no set rule, “less is often better” is a principal that I use. It may require that you use LESS supplies to correct a skin problem you might have.
Are Protective Sheets Vegan-Friendly?
I have confirmed at least one brand that carries animal-free protective sheets. You can them, as well as others, listed on my vegan/non-vegan product page found HERE.
There are two brands of sheets that I’ve used: Coloplast Brava Protective Sheets and ConvaTec Duoderm Extra Thin Sheets. The Duoderm, while not advertised as an ostomy protective sheet, can be used as such for small areas (like around the stoma ) and the Brava Sheets can be used under my whole wafer. They are both slightly different, so speak to your stoma nurse for guidance on which one to choose.