*Quick disclaimer – I am not a qualified medical professional and all views are based on my own personal experience. Before carrying out any physical exercise please consult with your Stoma Care Nurse.
Winter has arrived and that means big jumpers, wrapping up like an Eskimo and the central heating on full pelt.
What does that mean for us as ostomates? What does that mean for our skin?
In the summer months, there is always a huge emphasis on keeping hydrated and protecting your skin. It’s drummed into us on all social media channels, the news and shops. Come the winter months all you tend to see is the cute little penguins from British Gas and adverts for switching heating suppliers.
There is no emphasis on looking after yourself, or your body, come the winter months.
My winter skin as an ostomate
Come winter, my skin goes to hell. I forget to drink fluids and I spend most of it trying every beauty product to rectify how a change in the seasons has damaged my skin.
It is important to make sure you stay hydrated. A fair amount of ostomates, myself included, have ended up in hospital due to dehydration in the winter months for not staying on top of their fluid intake. Over the winter months, I now have a measured water bottle to keep track of what is going in.
To put it into perspective, the average males body water content is 60% and females are at 50%. So, if you are not staying on top of your hydration levels this can dry out the skin and make it flaky.
Certain fluids can act as a diuretic and cause the stoma to flush. So, things to avoid are as follows:
- Plain water – this can cause flushing, so please add a binder such as squash
- Large quantities of tea and coffee, as these are diuretics
- Diet-based fizzy drinks
Things to help with staying on top of hydration and electrolytes:
- Re-hydration sachets
- Two litres of fluid a day
- St Mark’s solution
- A squash you like to flavour water
I digressed a bit there from the importance of staying hydrated in the winter months. So, what do I use to help my skin? How do I stop myself looking like a leathery crocodile, with the scaling to match?
As a female, you would think I have a pretty solid beauty regime… Me, not so much. In fact, my partner has more beauty products than I do and he is the one who has to remind me to use any products I may have laying around.
My skin is a rather sensitive soul and doesn’t like certain products and the fact I am allergic to linalool makes it rather difficult for me to find products that won’t bring me out in a rash or hives. Linalool is in a fair amount of body products, I can tell you.
What I use:
As you can see from the above photo, I am a rather simple girl with a taste for the Simple beauty products. I predominately use these, as they are cruelty-free and no little bunnies were harmed in the making or testing of these products. I have been using the Simple range for the last 8 years or so, as it’s the only soap that doesn’t affect my skin and the moisturiser is the only thing that touches the sides with my rather flaky legs.
I also pay £12.95 a month for the Birchbox samples box, as its tailored to my skin needs and its nice getting a present, to me from me, once a month for products that I normally can’t afford to pay full price for.
Products in the photo
- Simple Moisturising Facial Wash
- Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser
- Diprobase Lotion – I have eczema and psoriasis on the tops of my arms, legs and hands so this helps to stop my skin drying out
- Dr Paw Paw – This stuff is amazing and over the last month my psoriasis on my hands is under control
- Polaar Night Cream – I use this to keep my face on top speck and keep the dry patches away
I think the top tips to surviving winter and keeping on top of your skin are simple needs, and that is staying hydrated and keeping your skin moisturised over the winter months.
Many thanks for reading,