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

Barrier wipes and sprays


Mini Guide to Ostomy Supplies: Barrier Wipes
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What Are Barrier Products?

Barrier wipes and sprays create a chemical film to your skin, which is intended to help reduce irritation from adhesives, friction and ostomy output.  

These products are sometimes called protective barrier wipes or protective film products.

How Barrier Products Are Usually Sold

These usually come in wipes or sprays, but you can also find foam-tipped applicators too.

  • Wipes are individually sealed, which can be quite convenient, and are sold in boxes of 30-100 units.
  • Sprays can come in 28ml to 50ml bottles, and their mileage will vary depending on how much you use per application.
  • The foam applicators come individually sealed in a packet that usually contains about 1ml or 3ml of barrier solution, which would be more than enough for a single application; boxes include anywhere from 5 to 25 packets.
Ostomy Barrier Wipes
Various Ostomy Barrier Wipes

These barrier products can vary in cost, depending on the style and quantity sold in a box.  This can be a concern if you are paying out of pocket for supplies (like we do in Canada), but some brands  can be as cheap as CDN$0.40 per application. 

Purchase on Amazon

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

If you prefer sprays, they have those too: USA | CANADA

How to Use Barrier Products

Regardless of the type of barrier product you use, they tend to go on the same way:

  1. Clean and dry your skin.
  2. Apply barrier product (wipe, spray, foam applicator) evenly to the skin you want to protect, being careful not to get it on your stoma.  Don’t overdo it – a thin layer is all you need.
  3. Let the barrier product dry. This can be up to 30 seconds for sprays, but they usually dry quickly when you use wipes.
  4. Apply your wafer on top.
  5. Go out and be awesome!

One common use for barrier products is to apply them on top of stoma powder, so wafers can stick better.

This is usually necessary since wafers don’t stick well to these powders.

Some people will repeat this step a few time, in what many ostomates and ET Nurses call “the crusting technique“.

Tips When Using Barrier Products

  • Most manufacturers of extended wear ostomy wafers will suggest NOT using barrier products, as they can interfere with the adhesives in these extended wear products.
  • If you’re using a spray, cover your stoma with some gauze to protect it from getting sprayed.

Are Barrier Products Vegan-Friendly?

Barrier wipes don’t tend to have animal ingredients in them, but if you’re unsure, check with the manufacturer.

You can also find an up-to-date list of ostomy products, including barrier products, that are free of animal ingredients HERE.

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

  1. I have found that disposable gloves and disposable bed pads are becoming a need for me. I like to put the bed pad on the floor in case something drops down when changing. I know you use the plastic bag around the waist and I e done that before too. The gloves to keep chemicals like adhesive removers off my hands. 

  2. I feel i need to use a barrier wipe because i use karaya powder underneath. I thought this powder would prevent the flange from sticking to my skin so that is why. My flange is extended wear and I am suprised that barrier wipes shouldn’tbe used. Why is that?

    • Hi Connie,

      I’ve been told by manufacturers that barrier wipes/sprays interfere with the extended wear adhesive’s ability to bond well with the skin.

      But… if you find that you get better results, especially when using powder, then that should be your benchmark :)

  3. Is it possible that the barrier wipe is making the flange stick more to my skin. I seem to be having trouble with it (the flange close to the stoma) sticking alot and having to pull extra hard to get it off?

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Yes, it’s entirely possible! Barrier wipes create a thin chemical layer on the skin, which can help the adhesive to stick better. This happens more with “standard wear" wafers, and not recommended for “extended wear" products.

      If you find that it’s difficult to remove the wafer from your skin, consider an adhesive remover spray designed for ostomates.

      That said, if you are replacing your wafer too early, then the adhesive will still be quite strong and will require some effort.

      Take care!

  4. Thank you for all the information you provide. My sister and I are on this new emotional journey with her ostomy and you’ve helped guide us through most of the weeds.


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