Skin irritation is a top concern for ostomy patients, given the extra sensitive area around the stoma. It’s a location that can become vulnerable to bumps, rashes, or even bleeding if you aren’t careful. We’d like to go over some of these common skin irritations and offer suggestions to prevent or minimize further trouble.
Red & Pimply Skin - You may notice a rash with small pimples and pustules developing around the stoma location. This is often a sign of hair follicle infection. It may occur after tearing off the pouch adhesive plate too quickly, or also from improper shaving. You would want to make sure you’re applying and removing pouches slowly, and if razor shaving is the culprit, then consider switching to scissors.
Wet & Bumpy Skin - Here’s another type of rash, which might also involve an infection. Diabetic patients may be more prone to this problem. These happen more often in darker locations and can become a breeding ground for fungal infections. It’s essential to keep the skin around the stoma clean and dry to avoid this problem.
Skin Bleeding - Although the stoma tissue bleeds somewhat easily, and isn’t always a cause for alarm, it shouldn’t be excessive. If it is, you may have a contact reaction, which could require medical intervention.
Allergic Reactions - This is a rare problem because you should use hypoallergenic materials for everything you do around your stoma. If you are having trouble, then it’s essential to evaluate what might be causing the reaction, and find substitute supplies. Don’t forget to investigate all the wipes, body soaps, and anything else you use for sanitary purposes anywhere near the stoma.
Sometimes skin irritation is a function of having the wrong fit for your ostomy pouches. If you struggle with leaks and irritation, this could be the cause. That’s why our Entrust brand of drainable pouches, and all our other supplies, comes in several sizes to facilitate a proper fit.
Finally, skin irritation can happen if the adhesive material (holding your pouch system to your skin) degrades, and leaves you with much more friction. That’s an important thing to check as soon as you notice pain or discomfort.
If you’ve had any other skin irritations that you don’t recognize here, then don’t hesitate to contact your physician for further guidance.
We hope you found this helpful and will consider the hypoallergenic ostomy supplies we make at Fortis Medical Products. Our pouches, wafers, and other materials offer you the best chance to avoid skin trouble and resume a comfortable and normal life after an ostomy procedure.