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Caring for the skin around your stoma is important, but needn’t take all your time. Explore some time-saving skin care tips that are simple and easy.
Good skin care habits and routines will help you avoid peristomal skin complications (PSCs). Yet, taking care of the skin around your stoma doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Below are some practical tips to help you maintain healthy skin while saving time too.
Keep it simple. Less is better when caring for the skin around your ostomy. For most people, water is sufficient for cleaning the skin. Remember to wash your hands after changing or emptying your pouch. If soap is needed, use a mild soap without lotions or creams that may leave a residue or film on your skin. This can interfere with the skin barrier adhesive.
Use an ostomy skin barrier with ceramide. Just like a brick wall needs mortar to keep it strong and firm, the skin needs ceramide to bond the cells of its outer layer. The relationship between ceramide and skin health has been well established, so this is an easy and quick win.
Be proactive about preventing peristomal skin complications (PSCs) – don’t accept them as normal. Many people living with a stoma who have a PSC do not seek help or guidance, believing it is normal. It is not. PCSs cause longer hospital stays and more readmissions. Quick identification and treatment are important. Of course prevention of all PSC’s is more time consuming, but easier in the long run.
Remove and replace your ostomy pouch if you experience itching. Peristomal itching, otherwise known as pruritis, can be a problem, even if you don’t see any visible skin damage. If you start to itch, your best bet is to remove and replace your pouch. In a survey of people with ostomies who experienced itching, over 79 percent said that doing this made the itching situation better. If itching persists, however, contact your stoma care nurse.
Use stoma powder to absorb moisture from broken skin. Stoma powder (not talcum powder) absorbs moisture to help the skin barrier adhere well and protect peristomal skin to facilitate healing. When using stoma powder, make sure to brush off the excess before applying your pouching system. Too much powder can interfere with your pouch seal and cause leakage.
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