What Are Skin Cleansers?
Skin cleansers, as the name suggests, are products designed to clean the skin around your stoma. They are made to be very mild and gentle on the skin; some offer skin moisturizing benefits too.
There are two types of cleansers: One to clean the skin of stool or urine, and the other will contain antiseptics and are more for dealing with problem skin. This article will only focus on the first type of cleanser as your ET/stoma nurse would be the one to recommend the latter if needed.
How Skin Cleansers Are Usually Sold
You can find skin cleansers in liquid, foam, lotions or wipes. Most bottles are sold in either 4oz (118ml) or 8oz (235ml) sizes, although you may find larger sizes up to 3.8 liters!
Most major brands will offer cleansers in alcohol-free formulas, and many are no-rinse too.
Pricing on cleansers will vary considerably depending on the size and whether it has a disinfectant in it. Most 8oz spray bottles of liquid cleanser that are sold in Canada go for under CDN$10 and should be covered by most medical insurance policies.
Purchase on Amazon
You can purchase skin cleansers on Amazon (affiliate links), but note that they tend to be multi-use for other areas of the skin: USA
How to Use Skin Cleansers
There may be special instructions for individual products, so read the instructions before using any cleansing product. Most of liquid cleansers are simply spray and wipe without any need to use soap/water first. Wipes are used the same way you’d use a damp cloth or gauze pad, but it’s important to be gentle when using wipes so they don’t irritate your skin.
You would use cleaning products BEFORE applying any barrier products to the skin.
Tips When Using Skin Cleansers
- Cleansers aren’t necessary, and can sometimes cause skin problems. Don’t use them unless there’s a reason to.
- Plain water or a mild soap (no fragrance, no oil) are usually enough for ostomy skin care.
- Do NOT use baby wipes as a replacement for ostomy cleaning products; they are not the same and can interfere more with your wafer.
- If you’ve had problems with your wafer not sticking properly, you may want to avoid using cleaners to see if it helps..
- Only use sterilizing/disinfecting cleansers under the advice of your doctor or stoma nurse.
Are Skin Cleansers Vegan-Friendly?
As with many skin products, cleansers may contain animal ingredients, and I will add any cleanser products that I can confirm ingredients for to the vegan/non-vegan list of ostomy products HERE.
To see how I clean my skin using plain water and a gauze pad, check out how I change my ostomy appliance.