Ostomy pouch won’t stick: Possible causes and solutions

Common Problems

Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor

From A Bigger Life

There are many reasons why people visit their stoma care nurse, a common reason would be that their ostomy pouch won’t stick. We have listed a few reasons why this might happen.

For men
Some men have really hairy abdomens, it can be difficult to stick a pouch onto a hairy tummy. Your nurse would advise you to shave your abdominal wall. But, maybe only every fortnight or every three weeks. Some people don’t like the thought of that because they feel like there is a risk of damaging the stoma if they come to close. If you use the inside of the toilet roll or a kitchen roll, put it over the stoma and then shave the outside of the toilet or kitchen roll, you’ll have no risk of damaging the stoma. That will help the pouch to stick down to the abdomen that has much less hair on it.

The reason why we recommend you shave every 2 or 3 weeks is because if you shave any more than that there is a risk of you developing some inflammation in the hair follicles, which can cause some damage to the skin.

For women
It could be during your menstrual period or it could be during menopause, some ladies do struggle to get the pouch to adhere well. That could due to the warmth of your skin. What can help is if you use a non-perfumed antiperspirant roll on. If you roll it onto the skin after you wash and dryyour peristomal skin that could help the pouch adhere better.

Also, using a hairdryer on a cool setting, holding the hair dryer at arm’s length and let the air run over the peristomal skin for a few seconds. This can could take away the moisture on your skin and improve how the peristomal skin feels, it’ll feel nice and dry and the pouch will stick onto the peristomal skin.

Skin problems
Some people who have skin problems, for example, psoriasis or eczema, you may need to use steroid cream and when you’re first told this your automatically reaction would be “my pouch won’t stick if I have to use a cream.”

Applying a steroid cream
Choose a quiet time in the day whenever your stoma is a little bit less active. Take your pouch off, wash and dry your skin, wrap some tissue around the stoma to catch any affluent coming out and then use your steroid cream very sparingly, rubbing it into the peristomal skin where the irritation is. Lie for about 10 minutes to allow the cream to soak in , get a dry tissue, wipe it off and then you should be able to stick your pouch onto your peristomal skin without any problems.

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