The skin around your stoma should look just like the skin everywhere else on your abdomen. If the skin around your stoma starts to look irritated, you should make an appointment with your ostomy nurse. A small problem can quickly become a big one, and you may have difficulty keeping your pouches on at all, which will cause even more irritation to your skin. There are several things you can do until you can get some customized advice from your ostomy nurse:
- Check that the opening of your wafer is the correct size. If it’s too large, stool or urine can irritate the skin that shows around your stoma.
- Examine the back of your wafer when you change it. If the material is broken down (whitish-looking) it could be that you are waiting too long between days when you change the barrier. Try changing it one day earlier.
- Use the “crusting” technique: Sprinkle some stoma powder onto any moist skin, and brush off the excess. Then gently pat with a barrier wipe. Let that dry, and repeat the whole process. This should provide a good surface for your wafer.