Stoma and Skin Stuff


Stoma and Skin Stuff

Edited by Bobbie Brewer UOAA UPDATE 11/12


  • Your stoma should be rosy red.
  • Use a hand mirror for a better view of your stoma
  • Don’t allow anything to be put in your stoma without your doctor’s personal supervision. Question any procedure that intrudes upon the stoma including suppositories.
  • Re-measure your stoma to ensure the correct size of pouch and skin opening. The stoma will shrink in the first few months after surgery.
  • Spot bleeding often occurs during cleaning and pouch changing.  Tiny capillaries are easily damaged and just as easily repair themselves. This is common to all ostomates.  Prolonged bleeding, increased amounts of bleeding, or very easy bleeding may indicate another problem and should be reported to your doctor.
  • If you participate in contact sports, cover your stoma with a “cap or shield” that are available from national manufacturers.


  • Make sure your peristomal skin is clean and dry before applying the pouch.  It is not necessary to use sterile supplies.  Your peristomal skin is not steril.
  • Keep the skin clean with water.  If necessary, use mild soap (avoid oil based soap or soap containing lotion) and rinse very well.  Pat dry before applying the skin barrier or pouch.
  • Skin must be perfectly dry to receive and hold the pouching system. If your pouch doesn’t stick well, are you applying it right after showering in a high-humidity bathroom?
  • Skin rash or itchy skin may need to be checked out by your ostomy nurse.  It may be a fungal rash or allergic reaction that needs topical medication. Allow your skin to be perfectly dry before applying your new pouching system. You might want to use a hair dryer on cool setting.
  • If you are prone to fungal infections, don’t use antibacterial soap as this will alter the flora on your skin in favor of the fungus.
  • Many times any skin irritation will clear up under the pouch but prolonged wearing may cause the skin to break down again.  Change the pouch regularly.
  • If you cut your center holes, save the leftover pieces and use them to fill in any skin indentations around the stoma underneath the wafer.
  • Some men find it necessary to shave around their stoma.  They find that electric razors are better for the skin.  Protect the stoma when shaving.

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