One of the most recognized products in the ostomy world are Eakin Cohesive Seals. The brand is so well-known that an entire category of products, barrier rings, are often referred to simply as “Eakin rings”, much like how we often use the name “Xerox” to mean photocopy. I’ve been buying Eakin Cohesive Seals for over a year, and it’s time for a review!
Cohesive Seals are like sticky plasticine rings, perhaps a bit stiffer than that, but they are intended to help prevent leaks for all types of ostomies (ileostomy, colostomy, and urostomy). They are free of animal ingredients and are quite gentle on the skin.
Both the Small Cohesive and Slims are 48mm in diameter, but the Slims are… slimmer (approx. 4.2 mm vs. 3mm). One nice thing about this product is that you can cut, mold and shape these however you like. Because of this, I find that buying the thicker rings works best for me because I can use an entire ring or split it up and use half the amount (essentially turning it into Slims).
The Small and Slim Cohesive Seals are sold in boxes of 20 or 10 sealed packets (although you get 30 in Europe), and there is a larger, 98mm version called Large Cohesive Seals, which are ideal for urostomies, and that one is packaged in boxes of 10.
There are two ways to apply these rings: directly onto your skin before applying your wafer or onto your wafer before sticking it to your skin. When I started using these rings, I found that applying them to my skin worked well, but I ran into a few appliance changes where my stoma would be a little wet (as stomas tend to be) and if the Cohesive seal would touch it, it would no longer stick properly to my skin. Now, I’ll stick the seals to my already-cut wafer before applying the wafer to my skin. This has been the most reliable way, but it’s a matter of preference.
The seals are meant to last the entire time you wear your appliance, which for me has been between 3-5 days (mostly 3). Cohesive Seals have a tendency to break down with prolonged exposure to moisture, including sweat, which causes them to “melt”. This hasn’t happened often to me, but it is something that does happen under the right circumstances; these seals have lasted longer than other products I’ve used.
I’ve also notice that when I use a full thick seal (Small Cohesive Seal), it can sometimes create more pressure on the skin around the stoma, similar to what a convex wafer does, and that causes my appliance to stick out a bit and it makes things slightly uncomfortable; the Slim seals do not do this.
One thing I don’t like about this product (and other barrier rings, for that matter), is that it leaves a very sticky residue on my fingers when I’m molding it during an appliance change. This can make things a challenge when applying a wafer, although a certain level of stickiness is expected in order to adhere to your skin and create a good seal.
Worse than having sticky fingers, though, is how difficult these are to remove off my skin. I use adhesive remover wipes, but it’s a challenge to remove the seal and its residue during an appliance change. The reason I find this particularly frustrating is because shaving around my stoma is impossible if that residue isn’t removed completely off my skin.
There’s no doubt that Cohesive Seals can be a huge asset for any ostomate who’s experiencing leaks or soreness around their stoma (caused by leaks). They’ve helped my skin tremendously, and I know of many ostomates who’ve experienced the same benefit. Despite some of the annoyances that are common with this type of product, Cohesive Seals can improve the quality of life for any ostomate who’s experiencing skin or appliance problems.
For more information, please visit: http://www.eakincohesiveseals.com/