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.
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.
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How to Use Barrier Products
Regardless of the type of barrier product you use, they tend to go on the same way:
- Clean and dry your skin.
- 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.
- Let the barrier product dry. This can be up to 30 seconds for sprays, but they usually dry quickly when you use wipes.
- Apply your wafer on top.
- 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.