Healing the Skin around the Stoma – OSTOMY TIPS (w/ Video)

saving skin around stoma

The ideal appliance will fit in a way that protects your skin while also providing a durable, and secure fit. Unfortunately, not every ostomate can achieve this balance so easily, so many will experience a breakdown of skin around the stoma.


Ostomy care: Healing the Skin around the Stoma
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This happened to me a short while after getting my ostomy, as my new stoma was still shrinking down from its swollen state.

I was quite inexperienced, so rather than change my appliance more often, I’d try to get 5+ day wear time, which meant that as my stoma became smaller, it left room for my output to eat away at my skin.

As you can see from the photos below, I had fairly deep erosion of the skin, and it hurt a lot. At the time, I had used the “crusting technique”, which involves putting stoma powder on the exposed, raw part of my skin, dust it off and apply a barrier using either barrier wipes or cavilon spray.

You do this a few times to build up protection on the skin, and to allow the wafer to stick to something other than the powder. This technique does work for many people, but it worked very slowly for me.

More recently, as I’ve been in between wafer samples, I began to get more breakdown of the skin.

I attempted to remedy this using the crusting technique, but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted; so instead, I opted to simply use a barrier ring without any powder or barrier wipes.

The results impressed me, and my skin has probably never looked that good around the stoma.

And here’s another example of how quickly this method can heal damaged skin:

Now, I continue to use a barrier ring when I notice more breakdown of the skin. I may continue to use them more regularly, but they are quite expensive and I’m not done trying new appliances that might offer a better fit.

Here’s a video showing how I change my appliance, including how I use barrier rings.

How to Change Your Ostomy Bag: Ostomy Care Tips
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Caution: Before you change your routine, you should check with your stoma nurse first, unless you’re willing to experiment on your own.

INFO: If you’re interested in the “crusting technique” for healing peristomal skin, check out THIS article.

QUESTION: What techniques have you tried to heal up your skin?

268 thoughts on “Healing the Skin around the Stoma – OSTOMY TIPS (w/ Video)”

  1. Thank you for this tip! I’m headed straight to the pharmacy to try this…. I pray it works! My momos skin is raw at this point and the barrier is not staying on.

  2. Hi Jayda, Welcome to the forum. That sounds incredibly painful 😖. Getting the skin to heal the first thing is stopping the output getting on it. Do you have access to a stoma nurse. Are you measuring the stoma to get a good appliance fit. Could it be a reaction to the product you are using. Leaving the bag of for a bit can really help the skin to breathe and heal. There a barrier sheets to put on the skin to form a base for the wafer. Keep heart, skin around the stoma is easy to damage but given a chance quick to heal 👍

  3. Hi All, I have tried “crusting”. I have tried barrier rings. I have tried everything I can think of but I cannot get my skin to heal. I have about 3 inch of incredibly raw skin all around my stoma. Nothing will stick to the raw skin and the output is burning it bigger and bigger every day. I have been bed ridden with the pain for 3 days now and I’m slowly losing it lol. Help!

    • Hi Jayda,
      there is something called domboro. We get it in our pharmacy. It’s a box that contains several packets of domboro. You take a packet and put into a bowl/ cup and add the water required as it states on the instructions. Stir it up real good.  Then you saturate a soft gauze pad or even a paper towels and wrap it around the stoma in the area that is affected. You can let it sit there for 10-15 minutes and it you can keep applying new ones until your mixture has run out. My stoma nurse gave me this remedy a few years ago. It works wonders and is so soothing to the affected area. I keep some in hand at all times so that it’s there should something occur. 

  4. I am seven years with a miserable stoma .it has a hole underneath that blows out my seal.that. Let’s the fluid go up around the seal and soon breaks down I’ve tried many things . C oloplast Says they do nothing as it is a surgeon problem. Somedays I use as many as three setups . The little hole builds up pressure. The joint around my stoma is always very soar and bleeding .

    • Nelson millsmay be time to go back to the surgeon. You might want to think about having that one taken down and a new one created. Your surgeon would best to know if that is possible for you. It surely does not sound one bit fun. Do you think if you put a 4×4 barrier on your skin before applying the pouch would help? 


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