Tips for looking after the skin around your stoma

Hear from Susan, a community stoma care nurse.

One of the most important things in managing your stoma is looking after the skin around it. Your skin can get irritated for many different reasons, when you notice a change it is important to go back to the basics of stoma care.

Stoma care routine

• Remove your pouch with the use of a remover spray or wipe, allowing easy removal of the pouch from your skin.
• Remove any residue caused by seals or washers, by using an adhesive remover wipe and gently wiping. Please don’t pick at the residue as this could cause skin damage.
• Clean around your stoma with warm water and a soft wipe. No soap is needed and there’s no need to use baby wipes, as they can leave an oily residue on your skin and prevent your appliance from sticking.
• Pat the area dry or allow it to air dry.
• Check the size of your stoma is the same size as the hole in your pouch. If the pouch is cut too big or too small, it can cause skin problems.
• If your skin is looking sore or irritated, use a barrier spray or cream. They have a dual function of protecting and moisturising your skin, but remember a small bit goes a long way. Your Stoma Care nurse can advise the best spray or barrier for you.

Continue with this routine until your skin has returned to its previous healthy state. If you have any concerns about your skin, please seek the help from your Stoma Care Nurse.

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