What is Stoma Powder?
Stoma powder is a product that is used to absorb excess moisture from the skin, more commonly when the skin is weepy and raw (usually around the stoma). The powder will gel when wet, but it does not contain adhesive.
How Stoma Powder is Usually Sold
Stoma powder is usually sold in small, 1 ounce bottles. While stoma powder is often covered under most insurance policies, it’s a fairly inexpensive product and one small bottle can last many months. In Canada, prices for stoma powder can be between CDN$10 and $12 per 1 ounce bottle.
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How to Use Stoma Powder
In most cases, stoma powder is applied directly only weepy or raw skin after the area has been cleaned and dried. It’s important to make sure that the powder has been dusted off so there’s no visible powder left on the skin; failure to do this will likely cause your wafer to lose its adhesive strength. You can often apply a barrier wipe product over the dusted stoma power to improve your wafer’s adhesiveness.
Stoma powder and barrier wipes/sprays can also be used together in a technique called the “Crusting technique”. The crusting technique can be especially useful if you’ve got raw skin around your stoma. The basic steps involved in the crusting technique are:
1. Make sure your skin is clean and dry.
2. Apply a layer of stoma powder on top of the raw skin.
3. I like to dust off any excess powder by tapping on the skin near the area I just applied powder to.
4. Either apply barrier spray or use barrier wipes directly onto the powder (this will make the powder wet).
5. Let the powder dry (it will turn white again as it dries).
6. You can apply your wafer at this point, but more often you’ll repeat steps 2-6 for another one or two times before applying the wafer.
I have used the crusting technique with mixed results and I find using barrier rings to be better for healing around the stoma (I will have a separate video and article about it soon).
Tips When Using Stoma Powder
- Less is better when it comes to stoma powder! Using too much will cause you more problems than you need!
- Do not use stoma powder unless your skin is weepy or raw, since there’s no advantage to using it (it doesn’t prevent skin irritation) and could negatively affect your wafer instead.
- If you have persistent irritation, you should speak with your stoma nurse. Stoma powder should be used for acute irritation and chronic problems should be corrected at the source, not managed with powder after the damage is done.
Is Stoma Powder Vegan-Friendly?
Stoma powders can be made from a pectin, cellulose or gelatin base, but more often than not, it’ll contain gelatine, so please refer to my vegan/non-vegan list of products to see which are free of animal-based ingredients.