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Avoiding and Preventing Skin Rashes

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Keeping the skin around your stoma clean and healthy is important, not only to ensure that your skin is protected, but also to help your ostomy pouch fit comfortably. From time to time, you may experience skin irritation or rashes for a variety of different reasons.

 

Skin Concerns with a Urostomy

The skin can break down around your stoma as a result of coming into contact with urine regularly. The skin surrounding the stoma, called the peristomal skin, will look red and might seem as though it will peel. If the skin is not treated, it can develop an overgrowth of tissue, called hyperplasia.

Skin Concerns with an Ileostomy

When the peristomal skin is exposed to stool it can become irritated quickly. You may experience a burning or an itching around your stoma. Gone untreated the skin irritation can progress to a yeast infection, and the skin will be red and itchy. Even if you haven’t noticed any skin redness, yeast rashes can occur quickly, especially during the summer months when you are hotter and the skin is more moist.

Skin Concerns with a Colostomy

As with an ileostomy, the skin around your stoma can be prone to irritation, including yeast infections. Again, the skin is broken down when stool leaks onto the area surrounding the stoma.

With each of these concerns, a well-fitted ostomy pouch system is key to preventing leaks. To avoid leakage – and the skin irritation that can come with it – you might consider ostomy accessories. Items like barrier rings, strip paste, barrier adhesives and ostomy belts are just a few products that might make the seal between your skin and your pouch more secure and protect the peristomal skin from irritation.

If you notice any irregularities or changes in your peristomal skin, you should consult with your health care provider, who might recommend some of the products mentioned above or medical treatment, such as an anti-fungal cream for yeast infections.

General Skin Concerns with Stomas

Allergies: Finding the right adhesives and pouching system products may take time, especially if you are susceptible to allergic reactions. Even if you’ve had the same product for years, the skin can become sensitized to the pouching system or a particular adhesive. Meaning you may need to switch in order to keep your skin healthy and free of irritation.

Folliculitis: Make sure to shave any hair around the stoma to prevent irritation or infection of the hair follicles. Follicles can become sensitive from being torn repeatedly with the removal of the stoma pouch, which can lead to inflammation.

Mycosis: People with diabetes or who are taking antibiotics should be especially careful of mycosis, or fungal infections. The skin will itch and burn if you have mycosis, and a yellow-white plaque may develop. There are several different kinds of mycosis, including yeast infections.