Stoma powder is an ostomy accessory that can be extremely helpful when managing the health of the skin around the stoma, called peristomal skin. Complications of peristomal skin may occur for a variety of reasons. Treating the cause of the peristomal skin issue with effective ostomy products like stoma powder can help resolve the symptoms. We will discuss what stoma powder is used for when addressing various skin issues around the stoma.
Common Peristomal Skin Issues and Treatment Options
The skin issue is called irritant dermatitis if peristomal skin is damaged due to exposure to fecal matter, urinary drainage, or preparatory ostomy supplies. As the name suggests, the peristomal skin is irritated due to skin prepping adhesives, solvents, or a skin barrier that is too large, allowing leakage. The skin may be red, inflamed, itchy, or weeping.
- Check to make sure you are using the correct size skin barrier. A barrier with an opening that is too large allows areas of the peristomal skin to be left exposed to urine or stool.
- If you have a recessed or flat stoma, you can try using a convex skin barrier such as the Convatec Esteem synergy Moldable Skin Barrier for improved skin protection.
- Try sprinkling a stoma powder such as Adapt Stoma Powder on the clean peristomal skin, followed by a protective barrier wipe to seal the area. Sureprep Barrier Wipes are a no-sting solution that creates a water-resistant barrier to prevent further skin irritation.
A fungal or yeast infection of the peristomal skin is called peristomal candidiasis. The skin under the barrier becomes warm and moist when the body perspires. Additionally, leakage and prolonged wear-time can contribute to peristomal candidiasis. Peristomal skin becomes dark red, burns, itches, and looks like a rash is present.
- As mentioned, ensure that your ostomy system is sized correctly to prevent leaks causing the buildup of moisture under the skin barrier.
- Clean and dry the affected area and apply stoma powder. Avoiding creams and ointments is suggested as they can interfere with a secure seal of the skin barrier.
- Seal in the stoma powder with a barrier wipe or spray and monitor the peristomal skin between ostomy appliance changes.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Unfortunately, sometimes we do not know the chemicals used in ostomy supplies can cause an allergic reaction until we use them. With allergic contact dermatitis, the skin issue appears to be the same shape and size as the skin barrier. The peristomal skin may appear red, dry, crusting, or even oozing. The affected area of the skin may burn or itch.
- Try switching to an alternate brand of ostomy supplies than what you are currently using. The chemicals used for adhesives often vary by manufacturer.
- Consider choosing hydrocolloid adhesive ostomy products. Hydrocolloid adhesive is highly absorbent, conforms for a better seal, and forms an occlusive barrier. Hydrocolloid adhesive ostomy products can also be used for extended wear.
Perform a test patch when possible, and always consult with your ostomy nurse or physician if you do not see symptoms subside.
You may have folliculitis if you are experiencing infection or inflammation of hair follicles around the skin surrounding your stoma. Shaving the peristomal skin can allow for a smoother and more even seal of the skin barrier. However, similar to razor burn, folliculitis appears as redness, bumps, and burning of the peristomal skin.
- Try using an electric razor instead of a traditional one and shave in the direction of hair growth. Using an electric razor may also help control how aggressively the peristomal skin is shaved. You can also use scissors to remove excess hair.
- Use a sting-free adhesive remover like the Convatec ESENTA Sting-Free Adhesive Remover Wipes or Spray. This adhesive remover removes residue and helps reduce further skin damage since they are alcohol-free, silicone-based, and leaves no residue behind.
- Clean and pat dry the peristomal skin and apply stoma powder like Adapt Stoma Powder between changes. The stoma powder will help absorb moisture, create a sticky gel, and allow for a more secure seal of your skin barrier.
If you are living with an ostomy, you might experience issues with peristomal skin, and proper peristomal skin care can significantly improve outcomes. The ultimate goal of an ostomy patient is comfort and health. Most peristomal skin issues can be avoided by securely fitting ostomy systems. Including stoma powder as an ostomy accessory in your routine can be an essential step in preventing peristomal skin issues. Healthy peristomal skin should look very similar to the skin on the rest of the body. Some redness is normal, but any discomfort should be a sign to contact your doctor and have them professionally address the skin issue.
With all of the treatment options mentioned, these are only suggestions and not intended as medical advice. You should contact your doctor immediately with any peristomal skin issue.