Ostomy issue – skin irritation

Following your ostomy surgery, your healthcare team should have instructed you on how to care for your peristomal skin and what it should look like when it is healthy. Ideally, it should be intact without irritation, rash, or redness. Below, you’ll find tips and tricks to assist with managing skin irritation with an ostomy. Remember to always check with your physician if your condition worsens.

The most common symptom of skin irritation with an ostomy is redness of the skin around the stoma, accompanied by burning and itching. These symptoms are the result of stool having direct contact with the skin. Stool is corrosive and can cause damage to the skin within a short period of time. You may notice bleeding from the irritation.

Redness on the skin around the stoma can be from several sources:

  • Skin exposure to output from stoma
  • Opening of the skin barrier/wafer may be too large for the size of the stoma
  • Uneven skin around the stoma may prevent you from obtaining a “good seal”, allowing stool to leak under the skin barrier/wafer and come into contact with your skin
  • Redness could indicate a reaction to the products you are using for your ostomy care

When ostomy product sensitivity might be the cause, the redness on the skin will have defined borders, mirroring the product. For example, if you are having a reaction to the tape border of your skin barrier/wafer, then the skin redness would be under the tape.

Skin redness and itchiness may also be the result of a yeast infection. Yeast infections tend to be bright red at first, then change as the infection resolves. They have irregular borders and will likely have smaller pink dots on the skin away from the main part of the redness /infection. Yeast likes to grow in moist, dark, warm places, like under an ostomy appliance and may appear after the ostomate has been taking antibiotics.

Skin problems can also perpetuate a vicious cycle in ostomy patients, as skin irritation may impair the adhesion of the pouching system, and in turn can exacerbate skin problems. That’s why it is crucial as an ostomate to maintain skin integrity and to address skin problems promptly.

For further information, talk to one of our manufacturer-trained Ostomy Specialists to learn how Liberator Medical’s ostomy products may help alleviate skin irritation with an ostomy.We provide these free services:

  • Access to Product Specialists to help you get the best ostomy products for your needs
  • Customer Support -access to the most up-to-date ostomy news and information
  • Online chat with ostomy specialists -a fast and discreet way to discuss sensitive issues

Call to speak with a specialist: 855-948-3319

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