What causes sore skin around my stoma?
If you are suffering with sore skin, contact your Stoma Care Nurse for a review in the first instance. It is better to address soreness as soon as possible, before it becomes more of a problem, but the below information should still be helpful:
Cutting your stoma pouch to the correct size
Sore skin can be caused by a variety of things. It may be due to wearing a stoma bag with the wrong size hole – the hole should normally fit snugly around your stoma. If the hole is too big it allows output to seep onto the surrounding skin. If this occurs, the stoma should be re-measured by using the backing paper of the adhesive as a guide. You may want to stand in front of a mirror to do this. You can also call our Careline on 0808 1596017 to send you a free measuring guide.
Once you have found the correct size for your stoma, you can let your home delivery service know and ask them to pre-cut your bags to your size before delivery. If you don’t yet have a home delivery service, we recommend considering our sister company, SecuriCare who can provide a pouch-cutting service.
Adhesive wear and tear
Sore skin and irritation around your stoma could be due to the erosion of the adhesive on the stoma bag, suggesting it needs to be changed more frequently. You may also experience a reaction to some adhesives which can make skin sore and/or itchy. If you think you may be allergic to an adhesive, please contact your healthcare provider for advice and let your stoma product supplier know.
Stoma shape, size and position
Some ostomates find that the shape and position of their stoma can cause skin problems. If your stoma is poorly-sited, recessed or retracted, then you might find that a convex bag is best for you. A convex stoma bag such as Aura Convex will provide a secure seal and a gentle pressure to help your stoma protrude into the pouch and prevent leakage.
Another specialist option is Aura Profile. This stoma bag has a flexible and adaptable flange, which moulds and shapes around the contours of a parastomal hernia providing a secure, leak-free fit. The unique flange can be fully inverted to adapt to any body profile and can also be a solution for dips, moats, scars or creases.
Uneven surfaces around the stoma can affect the adhesion of your stoma bag, potentially giving rise to leaks and sore skin. You might want to try an adhesive flange extender like HydroFrame for extra security, or washers like Hyperseal to enable a good fit.
If uneven skin around your stoma is causing you trouble, you could also try a stoma paste to smooth and level any minor skin irregularities.
Caring for your skin
Taking care of your peristomal skin can take time and may require you to try a few things out before settling into a routine that works best for you. The application and removal of stoma bags and essential accessories can take its toll on your skin but if you’re using the right products, this sort of thing can be avoided.
Silicone-based skincare products LBF and Appeel help maintain your skin integrity. Appeel is a medical adhesive remover that enables you to lift your stoma bag flange gently and easily from the skin, so you won’t feel that ‘plaster rip’ sensation. It also dries quickly so your skin won’t be left damp and is ready for the next pouch application.
LBF Barrier Cream provides a non-greasy, waterproof barrier of protection for your peristomal skin. It creates an ideal base for the adhesion of stoma bags and most importantly shields your skin from irritation and damage during stoma pouch removal.
Infections and skin conditions
Another possible cause of sore skin is that you may have a skin infection or condition, so please contact your Stoma Care Nurse to check.
If you would like more information, our Careline team can talk through your routine and try and establish why you might be experiencing sore skin, and what you can do to help. Give them a call on 0808 1596017.