A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies : Barrier Rings (w/ video)

Barrier Rings guide


Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Barrier Rings
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What Are Barrier Rings?

Barrier rings, which are sometimes called Eakin rings (although Eakin is just one brand of many), are often used when an ostomate experiences leaks.

Barrier rings work by swelling up around the stoma when it comes into contact with liquid or ostomy output, providing effective protection for any skin that’s exposed.

How Are Barrier Rings Sold?

Barrier Rings are boxed in quantities of 10-20 individually wrapped packages. Some brands offer two thicknesses.

These rings are usually not cheap (if you’re paying for supplies), and typical run around CDN$5.50 per ring.

Purchase on Amazon

You can purchase barrier rings on Amazon (affiliate links): USA | CANADA

How to Use Barrier Rings

These rings can either be placed around the stoma before applying the wafer, or to the wafer directly (after you remove the release liner on the wafer).  

They tend to be quite sticky, and should be applied to dry, unbroken skin for best results.

Because these rings are pliable (like Play-Doh), they can be molded around your stoma for the perfect fit.

Ostomy Barrier Ring on wafer
Barrier rings can also be applied to a wafer (just remember to remove the release liner off the wafer first!).

It’s best to use gentle pressure over your appliance after fitting it on top of the barrier ring, for a few minutes.  This will help the ring stick to your skin better, and will allow the wafer to stick better to the ring!

In my video “How To Change an Ostomy Appliance” (found HERE), I show how I put on a barrier ring.

Tips When Using Barrier Rings

  • Just because you get a ring, doesn’t mean you have to use a ring! You can easily tear these rings in half and use whatever you need.
  • These rings do tend to break down and often “melt” when they are worn for prolonged periods of time, or if you sweat a lot. Some brands break down sooner than others, so it’s best to sample a few, since these tend to be expensive.
  • Barrier rings can also help to fill in gaps near your stoma.

Are Barrier Rings Vegan-Friendly?

Many barrier rings contain gelatin, however, there are few (like Eakin rings – the brand) that are free of animal ingredients.

You can find an up-to-date list of which ostomy product, including rings, are free of animal ingredients HERE.

21 thoughts on “A Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies : Barrier Rings (w/ video)”

  1. I have been watching as many of your videos as I can. I have a colostomy and you have been so helpful. Since my surgery was an emergency I didnt have time to plan. Ruptured sigmoid diverticulitis. I have tried most all of the barrier rings, and I keep getting confused about which is best because of post op brain fog. Also, a ring may be great one time and then things change and the next time it’s not so good. So for colostomates I think I heard you say to go with one that is less absorbent and melts less. Less hydrophilic. Which ones in your opinion fit this criteria? thanks for helping an old nurse!!

    • Hi Anne,

      What works best can often depend on your goal. Are you trying to heal skin? Prevent existing leaks? Prevent leaks prophylactically?

      Rings that don’t absorb much fluid, and thus, don’t melt or degrade are the Coloplast Protective Rings and Trio Siltac seals ( https://trioostomycare.us/siltac/ ).

      For a colostomy, because there’s less frequent and less aggressive output, I would do my best to find an appliance that does not require the use of a ring. I’m a big fan of simplicity, especially with ostomy supplies ?

  2. When the barrier rings “melt," do they leave pill-like (almost like when your sweater pills) remains around or even on the stoma? Do you have to wipe this off or can you just leave it? I am a new ileostomate and on my second bag change at home, when I had the bag w/ barrier ring & wafer on for 5 days (Sat-Wed), I had an extremely difficult time getting all of the adhesive off of my stoma and the skin around it with the adhesive remover wipes. It took forever and of course my stoma was very talkative while I was cleaning it…

    • Hi Elise,

      Some barrier rings leave more residue than others and they can sometimes look like gum or flakes. It’s also possible that you might be seeing dead skin or skin that’s coming off from being moist. It happens to me too, and I use a wet gauze pad and wipe the skin around my stoma so it’s clean.

      If there’s residue leftover from a barrier ring, which may be difficult to clean with just water, I recommend using adhesive remover wipes.

      Take it slowly. I found that things stuck far more aggressively for the first while after having my surgery, likely because the skin is still pretty new to having adhesives on it.

      As long as the area is clean, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. I try to get everything off, but if this is causing irritation then leave the residue there and put the wafer over that. Just be sure that if you are using an adhesive remover, you need to clean the skin or the adhesive remover might affect the new wafer.

      Best to you!

      • Hi. Fantastic info. I used to apply this 3M sticky sponge to my skin before applying the new wafer, but now I keep things super simple. Remove old wafer, adhesive wipe, warm paper towel, dry completely and on comes the barrier and wafer.

    • Hi Elise,
      I have found some brands of barrier rings melt more than others.
      The Eakin Cohesive barrier rings melted worse for me.  
      When my Coloplast sample package came I tried their Brava Protective Seal (Barrier ring) and it did not melt into little bits as much, actually it doesn’t seem to have that problem for me.
      Personally I like working with the Brava rings they feel a bit more pliable and stick well.
      I use adhesive remover spray to remove the bag and then spray / remover wipe to clean up around the stoma followed by a facecloth wet with warm water.
      I make my bag changes in the morning and I shower with out a bag directly after cleaning all the old adhesive off to ensure everything is rinsed of well.
      I also switched to the Coloplast adhesive wipes ( was using a 3M spray the ostomy nurse provided) as I tend to get the spray all over and I like the wipes.
      I change my bag every 3/4 days, have not had a reason to wear it longer.
      Have a good evening.


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