Good care is
Stoma hygiene and peristomal skin care
After ostomy it is necessary to establish a care routine for your stoma and peristomal skin. Although you are facing some new procedures that are yet to become your routine, your hygiene will not require significant and demanding changes. In order to facilitate the adoption of a new routine, it is good to familiarise yourself with the key elements of stoma hygiene and peristomal skin care.
Stoma hygiene and skin care — why are they important?
If the contents of the ostomy bag come into contact with your skin, this may damage the skin. In order to avoid skin damage and minimise the risk of possible infections, you need to perform regular stoma care and keep the peristomal skin (part of the skin under your ostomy system) clean and dry.
In short, stoma hygiene and peristomal skin care preserve your health and have a positive impact on the quality of your life. In addition, a healthy peristomal skin is necessary for a practical reason —base plates adhere better to healthy skin.
When to empty/change the ostomy bag?
You replace closed bags with new ones when they are approximately 1/3 to 1/2 full. The drainable bags are emptied when 1/3 to 1/2 full, after which you continue to use them, and usually replace them with a new one after 2-3 days of use. Replacing and emptying the bags regularly is important in order to avoid accidents with the ostomy system.
When to perform stoma and peristomal skin care?
The care for your stoma and peristomal skin will usually be connected to changing your ostomy bag or system. How often you will change them depends on several factors, such as the type of your stoma, your ostomy system and the amount of content that your stoma produces.
You will determine how often you should change your ostomy system through consultation with your doctor and stoma nurse, but also through your own experience.
It is advisable to change the ostomy bag or system in the morning and before meals, when your stoma does not produce a lot of stool or urine. If you have an ileostomy, the change before meals is particularly important because the digested content will reach your stoma very quickly.
How to perform stoma and peristomal skin care?
What should you avoid?
When washing the skin, avoid aggressive soaps and agents containing alcohol as they can irritate the skin. Also avoid products containing oil because they make it harder for the base plate to adhere to your skin.
What should the peristomal skin look like?
Peristomal skin should look like the rest of your skin on the abdomen. Check it daily and if you notice any changes such as redness or rash, consult a doctor.
What if the stoma bleeds when performing peristomal skin care?
Since it contains many blood vessels, the occurrence of minor bleeding is not unusual. However, if the bleeding is abundant, does not stop or comes from the inside of the stoma, you should contact your doctor immediately.
How to shower and bathe with a stoma?
Unless your doctor or nurse advised you otherwise, you can bathe or shower every day in the usual way with or without a stoma system. Water will not harm your stoma or your ostomy system, and the base plate adhesive is waterproof. When bathing or showering without a system, you can use a stoma zipper instead.
If you have an ileostomy, you can take a shower without an ostomybag, but it is advisable that you have it on when you bathe.
Make sure that the water is not too warm or hot to avoid getting hurt. In the end, it is important that you thoroughly wash the agent you used and dry the skin, your stoma and ostomy system well with a towel.
Return to other articles
Please complete your details and where you would like your samples to be delivered. We handle and ship your samples free of charge.
Tell about yourself *
First Name *
Last Name *
What products are you using?
Email address *
Zip Code *