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Healing the Skin around the Stoma - OSTOMY TIPS (w/ Video)  

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Lyle
 Lyle
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March 1, 2018 6:01 pm  

I have read about people using aquacel for wet wounds. It absorbs moisture and may help heal up the site. Also read someone was using for similar adhesive problems with decent results.


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Lori Bayne
 Lori Bayne
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March 2, 2018 5:21 pm  

I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you so much for your videos and advice! I have a temporary ileostomy. I am two weeks in with this which I will have for three months if all goes well. I too have experienced the skin breaking down around the wafer just recently. I think I did not anticipate how quickly the stoma would shrink and sized my wafer way to big. My stoma does not stick out very far and the ostomy nurse said it would likely cause more irritation as a result. I tried barrier rings for the first time today and I am hoping and praying it works. The irritation is very painful when I walk. There are lots of good ideas here I am going to try. I have been told to change the wafer every 4 days or every 7 days, but I am reading here I may need to change sooner with the irritation. This whole process can be emotionally and physically draining for us new ostomy folks and finding your site has been a life line. Thank you!!


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VeganOstomy
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March 3, 2018 11:32 am  

Best of luck to you, Lori!

The "4 to 7 day" recommendation is ideal, but many people can't push their appliance that long without developing problems. If I go more than 5 days consistently, I'll have skin trouble guaranteed!

I hope the barrier ring works for you. You may need to try different brands to see which one works best for you. The Brava Protective Rings by Coloplast have been really good and don't break down or "melt" as often as other brands.


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Lori Bayne
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March 3, 2018 8:59 pm  

Thank you so much for the advice! I looked into the Brava Protective Rings by Coloplast. I saw your video on it and it said in the comments you could only get it in the UK and Canada. Is it available in the US now? Should I order directly from Coloplast? Also, I have been showering with the bag (not brave enough to go the other way just yet :) ) and I was wondering if that breaks down the barrier ring faster? My ostomy is active and I have not really figured out a time yet when it settles down...but that is probably more about what I am eating/drinking than the stoma itself. If the skin is aggravated, should I be letting it "breathe"?


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VeganOstomy
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March 4, 2018 2:08 am  

You may want to contact Coloplast to see if any of their US dealers sell them. I saw that a company called Medline has them, but I don't know much about them as a supplier.

Showering with your appliance is fine. If you notice that the edges of your wafer peels, you can use a wafer extender or medical tape, but it shouldn't peel very much.

Don't worry about your stoma being active - if you aren't comfortable then keep the bag on :) I do tend to "air out" my stoma on occasion, and there's no harm in doing it, and I believe it can help with raw/aggravated skin.


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Sarah
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March 4, 2018 7:34 am  

Lori, I have been where you are just a month or so ago. I also have a temporary ileostomy and am about 3 months out now. My takedown was supposed to be in March but the surgeon has pushed it back to May because I have a loop ileostomy and, after an exam and explaining what they have to do in the surgery, he said he wanted more time because I wasn’t healed enough yet. I was devastated. And the soonest they could do it was the day before my birthday. So happy birthday to me! But as many assured me, it is better to wait then for them to get in there and not be able to reattach me and have to go back through my abdominal incision (I have severe sepsis from a perforated intestine from a hysterectomy days before and had to be cut all the way open and my ileostomy was a result of that). So anyway-back to the point :) I have terrible trouble with breakdown and I too have an active stoma. I used the Chloroplast rings and found they broke down quite fast for me so I switched to a thick Hollister ring that seems to be more ‘waxy’ and it has worked great. I order all my supplies through Amazon. When I did have skin irritation I tried a technique I found on here using a product called Domeboro. I only had to do the soak once and it worked! I also was petrified of taking a shower without my bag on. But one day I just did it. And my stoma was active and I just let the poo rinse off and cleaned out the shower after. It will get easier and better. I know how emotionally hard it can be and just wanted to reassure you it will get better. Eric had been a great help to me, as well as these forums and videos. Keep your chin up. There is hope!


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Lori Bayne
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March 11, 2018 10:11 pm  

Hey there! I reached out to the Ostomy nurse (through my surgeon/hospital system) and spent some time with her this past week. She was a wealth of information. She told me that my stoma sits in a crease when I sit up directly. As a result, she said I needed to use a convex cut to push the skin down and the stoma up. She also said I needed to wear a belt all the time to help further with pushing the skin down. I am now using Hollister Premier One-Piece Soft Convex Cut-to-fit Beige Drainable Pouch With Remois Technology. In addition she said I need to change the wafer/bag every two days. What a difference it has made in a short time! I wish I had consulted her two weeks ago. According to the nurse, there is something within the wafer itself that is supposed to help with skin issues as well. We will see. Thank you for all of your advice! She also agreed with you in regards to the barrier rings and thought that could help me further now that I have the right fitting wafer. Thanks for fighting the good fight out here in Ostomy land. :) You are appreciated!


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Lori Bayne
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March 11, 2018 10:21 pm  

Sarah,

Thank you so much for your very kind and encouraging words! I always need to hear them! I am so sorry that you could not do your reversal sooner. I am so hopeful that mine will be quick but if not, I will just have to deal with it. Now that I have the right wafer and am in less pain/discomfort with it I think I can manage emotionally if I had to go longer. I know what you mean about birthdays! I had my colon removed/ J pouch surgery at 22 years old the day before my 23rd birthday. :) I am now 40 and just had surgery for a fistula repair...thus the ostomy while it heals. That surgery was on Valentines day! ha ha. I have to think it brings us good luck! Thankfully this last surgery was planned and I had several months to get ready for it mentally and physically. I cannot image emotionally all you have been through. You are a trooper! Even through this bad experience you are able to help others like me. I will keep you in my prayers and I hope May gets here quickly for you!


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Rich T
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March 14, 2018 9:31 pm  

This may be a weird one, but have you ever had sores and bleeding not on the skin at the base of the stoma, but around the shaft of the stoma itself. I have tried barrier rings molded up and around the stoma, doing the turtleneck thing, but the blood and (i guess clear inflammatory fluid) are REALLY doing a number on the survivability of the stoma cover (it doesn't leak poop ever, but blood is what starts to leak out.

Would you recommend barrier ring, just stick with it for a while longer, or do you know of any tips for this situation? The stoma nurses at my hospital are usually great, but they just kind of shrugged about this one.


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VeganOstomy
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March 15, 2018 1:23 pm  

Hey Rich,

Hmm. I'd get a second opinion from another stoma nurse. While bleeding around the stoma can sometimes be normal, sores are not, and I'd prefer that it gets looked at to determine what exactly they are.

Once you know what's causing them, you can proceed with how to better manage them.

Best of luck!


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Mary Ann
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March 18, 2018 12:27 am  

Hi Lori,
I just got a temporary diverting ileostomy which I will have for 3 months also. If you don’t mind, may I ask why you had your procedure. Mine is a trial for conservation of colectomy for slow transit constipation.
I did fine up until 8th day post-op when I started having increased pain and tenderness over the stoma. Pain goes from rib to groin.


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Mary Ann
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March 18, 2018 12:33 am  

Lori,
I am new to this site as I read further, you explained your situation. I hope you are doing well In your recovery.
My situation/diagnosis of slow transit constipation seems rare. My colon just refuses todo its job! 🤪


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Rob
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March 18, 2018 3:36 pm  

Hello to all,

I am a new permanent ileostomate(3 weeks). At the age of 54, I now am cured of my 20 years of having UC. I am so relieved and happy to have had the surgery and now will be involved with using stoma appliances and I am actually excited...There are soo many options and remedies that it truly puts my mind at ease and am very happy for this site.
I am currently using Coloplast products and their customer service is excellent. I have had no issues with getting samples. One of there recommended sites for ordering supplies is CanMedDirect.ca. There prices are actually very reasonable.

VO, in my opinion, your videos and advice are top notch!

To all, take care and all the best!


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VeganOstomy
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March 19, 2018 12:31 pm  

Hi Rob,

Glad you found the site!

IBD, including UC, can be insidious in nature, so continue to work with your GI doctor if you have any symptoms in the future (including "extraintestinal manifestations" like joint pains or mouth sores).

I use Canmeddirect and payless medical. Both offer great prices and fast service!


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Tom
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March 19, 2018 10:34 pm  

Hey! Been following your blog since I got my temporary double barrel ileostomy back in November. Thank you so much for the wealth of information and tips. It's been like having a second stoma nurse!

I just needed a tip on the size of my stoma. I've put weight on since having the stoma and It's prolapsed a bit. The colon end of my stoma is rather bulbous and it makes changing my appliance hard, so i kind of have to wait until some peristalsis happens. My question is that I've noticed when i lay on my back, the actual circumference of my stoma hasn't changed since surgery but when I'm upright (like anyone is for most of the day), the stoma kind of "fills out". I'm not sure what to do as I've been cutting my appliance to the size of it as it appears when it is larger, which is fine as it seels the gap between stoma and bag, but when I lay on my back at night, it shrinks. This has lead to irritated weepy skin and the powder isn't helping much. I've ordered some protective sheets from Brava i hope will help.

Thanks!


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VeganOstomy
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March 20, 2018 12:03 am  

Hi Tom,

Yes, that's an interesting problem indeed.

I've had my stoma shrink from when I cut the hole and it can lead to some problems, but the edges of the hole tend to swell up and fill in any gaps.

If you find that this is becoming an ongoing problem, I'd suggest speaking with a stoma nurse to see if any adjustments should be made to your routine (you may need to add another product in the mix).

Best of luck!


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Tammi
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March 31, 2018 2:13 pm  

I want to thank you for your web site and videos. My husband has a colostomy after surgery for colon cancer then a perforated colon with sepsis and months in the hospital so I am the one changing his appliance as he was/is too weak to do so. I have had to deal with several issues and an ever changing stoma. They found another colon leak so in a few weeks he will have surgery to reconnect his colostomy and then they will create an ileostomy. Your web site has been a tremendous help. I really appreciate it!!!


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VeganOstomy
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April 1, 2018 1:19 am  

Hi Tammi,

Thank you so much for the praise and I'm glad you've been able to make use of this website! I hope that your husband has a better time with his upcoming ileostomy! Sending my wishes to you both!


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Tom
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April 1, 2018 4:44 pm  

For anyone having the same trouble as I am, I've found a solution that works for me. I now have to change my bag lying on my back so that the stoma retracts and is as flat to the skin as possible. This gets me a good seel around the edges of the stoma. The size has actually got a bit smaller since surgery as I'd expected but I was cutting a bigger hole to get the wafer over the stoma, which led to irritation and faster ware on my wafer.

It can get messy for me as my stoma is very active. Be patient for your stoma to be a bit quiet whilst you change. The extra time changing will save hassle for days. I tend to take a loperamide pill (aka imodium) before I intend to change (please don't take too many of these if you are prone to blockages. My stoma nurse recommended 6-8 but my gastro nurse said that is well too many and said it should be only 1-2 when necessary).

My skin is healthier within days and I can now get a few more days (4-5) of wear on my appliance.

I'm not sure how this would work in emergency situations, but I'm hoping it won't come to that. As soon as I feel any slight irritation, I make time to change at home.

Hope this finds its way to anyone else having a similar issue.

All the best!


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VeganOstomy
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April 1, 2018 5:17 pm  

Thanks for sharing what's worked for you, Tom. 

You mentioned that you have a prolapsed stoma and that laying down helps it to retract before an appliance change.

I know it sounds strange (and I promise it's not an April fool's joke), but have you ever tried putting regular sugar on your stoma to help it retract? 

I know of people who've been told to do this by their stoma nurse, and it's been published in various medical literature too: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3604428/

 

 


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