What is sore skin?
The skin around your stoma called the peristomal skin can become red but intact, sore but dry or broken and wet.
What causes red or sore skin?
- Waste from your stoma getting directly on to your skin.
- Changing your stoma pouch too frequently causing trauma to your skin.
- Sensitivity or allergies.
- Pre-existing skin conditions.
Hints and tips
Some redness is to be expected when you change your pouch. Pulling the adhesive off your skin makes it react in this way.
- Be gentle when removing your pouch. Using an adhesive remover such as Vitamin E Elements Adhesive Remover, which is available in a spray and wipe can help.
- Shaving your peristomal skin may be necessary if body hair is an issue. Trauma caused by the pouch adhesive ripping the hair off your body can give you inflammation of the hair follicle or root (folliculitis). If using a razor, take care not to cut your stoma & only use the razor blade once before discarding it. You may prefer to use an electric razor or hair removing cream.
- Use a skin barrier film such as Vitamin E Elements Barrier Film or a suitable alternative before putting on a new pouch. This will protect your skin and also help to reduce redness when you remove your pouch.
- The flange part of your pouch needs to fit snugly around your stoma with no more than a 1mm gap between the stoma and flange. If the gap is too large your skin will be exposed to the pouch content resulting in sore skin.
- If the flange is cut too small, the adhesive will rest on your stoma instead of on your skin and the risk of waste getting underneath the flange and onto your skin is increased.
- For broken skin Vitamin E Barrier Cream, or a specially formulated protective powder can help.
- Eakin Cohesive Seals can help prevent effluent from coming into contact with the skin, and minimise any potential skin problems.
Pre-existing skin conditions
If you already suffer with skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema, sensitivity or allergies, you could be more at risk of these conditions developing around your stoma. Different skin conditions present in different ways so a medical or nursing assessment is essential. Make an appointment to see your doctor or stoma care nurse to discuss any peristomal skin problem, which may be worrying you. They will offer you the appropriate advice and treatment to deal with the situation.
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