Common causes and some quick and simple fixes

The skin surrounding your stoma, known as peristomal skin, can sometimes become sore, red, dry, wet, or broken. The usual suspect is a leaky stoma bag, but skin sensitivities, allergies, and conditions like psoriasis and eczema can all play a role. When the skin is damaged, it becomes harder for the stoma bag to adhere properly, leading to more leaks and further skin damage – a frustrating and painful cycle. Thankfully, with the right stoma skincare routine, you can quickly soothe any irritation and prevent future flare-ups, ensuring your skin stays healthy and comfortable!

If you had skin problems, sensitivities, or allergies before getting your stoma, you could be more at risk, so it’s always a good idea to speak with your GP or stoma care nurse. They’ll be able to help you find the right appliances, accessories, and skincare to help you stay one step ahead of redness and soreness.

Need to know: stoma skincare and product solutions

Pulling the adhesive off your skin can cause a bit of redness when changing your stoma bag, which is totally normal! However, if the redness is more pronounced than usual, it’s a good idea to chat with your stoma care nurse about tweaking your appliances and accessories.

Shaving your peristomal skin might be essential if body hair is an issue, but remember that removing your stoma bag’s adhesive can also pull out hairs, potentially inflaming hair follicles and roots. If you use a razor, be cautious not to nick your stoma, and use each blade only once. Alternatively, an electric razor can be a handy tool for your stoma grooming needs.

Using a skin barrier film when putting on a new bag protects your skin and helps to reduce redness when you remove your bag.

Got sore or irritated skin? A barrier cream or a specially formulated protective powder can help soothe and protect your skin. 

Seals can be a game-changer for your peristomal skin. These flexible, mouldable rings create a snug, secure seal between your stoma and the flange, effectively preventing leaks and minimising skin irritation. Acting as a buffer, they absorb moisture and output, keeping your skin dry and happy. By filling in any uneven areas around your stoma, seals can boost the adhesion of your stoma bag, eliminating pesky gaps where output could escape. This added protection can significantly enhance your comfort and confidence, making your daily stoma care routine a breeze and ensuring your skin stays in tip-top shape.

Protective powder will effectively remove excess moisture and shield against irritation from adhesives and bodily fluids. By smoothing out the surface before applying your stoma bag, it reduces friction, enhances adhesion, and ensures lasting comfort and will also make bag removal a breeze. Packed with soothing ingredients like Aloe Vera, it not only protects but also calms irritated skin, keeping it healthy and happy.

Getting the perfect fit is essential to prevent leaks and skin irritation. There should be no more than a 1mm gap between your stoma and its flange. If the gap is too large, your skin will be exposed to the output, leading to soreness. On the flip side, if the flange is cut too small, the adhesive will sit on your stoma instead of your skin, increasing the risk of output contact and, you guessed it, more soreness. Luckily, our free stoma bag cutting service is here to save the day. Just send us your stoma template, and we’ll either cut it by hand or use our precision cutting machines. Say goodbye to the hassle and hello to a perfect fit every time!

If you’re using a 1-piece stoma bag, you might want to swap to a 2-piece system until your skin’s healed. Switching to a 2-piece system reduces the number of times you’ll be removing the adhesive from your skin, which gives it a better chance of healing.

If you’re thinking of giving a 2-piece system a go, talk to your stoma care nurse as they’ll be able to help you find the best appliances to support your stoma skincare needs.