What is a Shower Cover?
A shower cover, which can also be referred to as a shower apron or shower guard, is an accessory that’s used to keep water off of your ostomy bag and wafer (depending on the style).
They can be a useful to use after surgery when you might have fresh incision wounds that you’re trying to keep from getting wet.
- Shower covers can help to keep your ostomy appliance dry during showers.
- They can help to protect abdominal incision wounds from getting soap or water in them during a shower.
- Works better than using saran wrap on your appliance.
- They can speed up drying time after a shower.
- Help to protect the edges of an ostomy wafer from peeling due to water exposure.
- May not keep your appliance 100% dry.
- Some products are only meant to cover the bag and offer no other protection.
- Longer shower covers make it awkward to wash your private parts.
- If put on incorrectly, water may actually get into the shower cover and soak your appliance in it.
How Shower Covers are Typically Sold
There are two main styles of shower covers that ostomates can wear, although you may find a few that differ from these styles.
The first is worn like an apron, and the other is basically a waterproof ostomy pouch cover.
In the case of the apron style, these may be sold as a “one-size-fits-all” design or you may be required to purchase one that fits around your waist size.
For pouch cover styles, some brands offer custom fits that take your appliance length, width, flange size, and ostomy type into consideration.
Pouch cover styles will usually have some type of elastic band that tightens around your flange to keep water out.
One thing I’ve seen with pouch cover styles that I don’t see with other shower covers is the option to get custom patterns, which is a fun way to wear the cover.
Manufacturers of either style should offer advice if any measuring is required beforehand.
Prices for shower covers tend to be in the $30 – $50+ range depending on the style and brand, but these are multi-use products that should last quite a long time with proper care.
If you are looking to buy an ostomy shower cover, I have a list of companies who make them on THIS page.
Purchase on Amazon
You can purchase ostomy shower covers on Amazon (affiliate links), but they are usually only sold directly from manufacturers: USA
How to Use a Shower Cover
Using a shower cover correctly is key to keeping your appliance dry. Refer to the instructions that are included with your shower cover to get the best fit.
Below, you can find general instructions for the two most popular style of shower covers.
With an apron style shower cover, there are two things you need to do.
First, you’ll want to place your ostomy bag inside the pocket of the shower cover. Make sure that your bag isn’t sticking out anywhere by flattening it while it’s in the cover pocket.
Once that’s done, you’ll wrap the shower cover belt around your waist and tighten it to get a good seal. It should be tight enough around your waist to keep water from entering from the top, even when you’re moving or bending.
Pouch style covers go on like a regular pouch cover would. You feed the bottom of your bag through the hole in the back of the cover, then make sure that the opening is snug around the base of your appliance.
If you have a two-piece appliance that uses a “floating flange” (like Hollister New Image systems), then make sure the hole of the cover is underneath the floating flange for a better seal.
You can now have a shower without needing to worry about your bag getting wet!
Tips on Using Shower Covers
Here are a few tips to consider when using a shower cover.
- Dry around your appliance before removing the shower cover or you may end up inadvertently getting your bag wet.
- Apron style covers work really well, but hot showers may cause steam to come up and under the cover, which may get your wafer wet.
- Remember that most shower covers are designed for showers, not swimming or taking baths. One company, Dry Corp, does offer a product that will work in both showers and for swimming.
Alternatives to Shower Covers
A common alternative to shower covers is a DIY cover made from saran wrap
The idea is to literally take plastic wrap and tape it over your appliance using smooth medical tape.
This solution can be very hit and miss (mostly miss), but it can help when you’re in a pinch or if you have abdominal wounds to cover up.
Because this method can take a while to set up and remove, it’s not really ideal as a long-term solution.
I have a guide on showering with an ostomy which may be helpful. You can find that HERE.
To see my reviews on any shower cover products I’ve used, refer to my review page HERE.