Ostomy Accessories Guide: Shower Covers

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Guide to Ostomy Accessories: Shower Covers
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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.

Wearing the blue crown club ostomy shower guard
This shower cover protects your entire appliance and any abdominal wounds.

Some Benefits

  • 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.

Potential Issues

  • 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.

Ostomy Bag holder ostomy shower cover
This company offers many different patterns to their shower covers!
ostomate active shower cover small
Ostomate Active out of Australia makes pouch cover style shower covers.

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.

Apron Style

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.

Using ostomy shower cover inserting bag
With an apron style cover, you’ll want to put your ostomy bag into the inner pocket first.

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.

Ostomy shower cover band close up
You’ll want to keep the shower cover tight enough to form a seal between your skin and the cover.

Pouch Style

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.
drypro ostomy shower cover
It may take more work, but the Dry Pro for ostomates should protect your appliance in showers and in the pool.

Alternatives to Shower Covers

A common alternative to shower covers is a DIY cover made from saran wrap

DIY ostomy shower cover small
This DIY contraption is time-consuming and doesn’t always work.

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.

Additional Resources

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.

Info: For more articles in this Accessory Guide Series, please visit THIS page.

10 thoughts on “Ostomy Accessories Guide: Shower Covers”

  1. There are water barrier extenders I use on occasion when the edges of water barrier start to loosen.
    I seem to have this problem with older stored appliances, hollister and coloplast both will send these extenders as free samples.
    don’t put them over hair however, it is mighty painful pulling off.

  2. I shower with the pouch and plate on, and I usually get 2-3 days out of the set.  On change days I get to shower without them ?.  What I do is try not to get soap or shampoo on the plate (though some gets on, I’m sure), and the ostomy nurse advised me to shower facing away from the shower head.  Things work out, though the adhesive on the plate does lift from my skin. When drying I take care with that, gently moving the towel from the flange out to the edges, to try to save the adhesive.  I use a Hollister barrier ring, also, which has always held.  If the adhesive on the plate seems really gone I use some paper tape – it is only for a day so it works (and my skin is sensitive to surgical tape, breaks out).
    I wonder if this might help you – before showing, to tape a square of plastic wrap larger than the area of the plate over the plate area, which will cover part of the pouch (which won’t matter as the pouch itself has no adhensive), taping over the top and sides (probably no need to tape onto the pouch). If your skin, like mine, is sensitive to surgical tape, use the paper, as you will throw it away when you dry off.  Just an idea.
    One more thing: I don’t take lengthy showers.

  3. @rick for some reason the soap or maybe shampoo loosens things and I start getting that itchy leaky feeling around my stoma area after I’m dried off and dressed. I have even blow dried my bag on low to see if that would help but no. Not sure why some can shower with no problem and some can’t.


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