Living with an ostomy comes with unique challenges, and learning how to use ostomy barrier strips is an essential skill for a comfortable and confident lifestyle. While many websites cover the basics, we highlight some lesser-known tips that can make a significant difference in your daily routine.
Ostomy Barrier Strips: The Basics
The primary function of ostomy barrier strips is to create a secure seal between the skin and the ostomy pouch, preventing leaks and ensuring comfort. Different types of ostomy barrier strips are available for different body types and needs.
There are three common types of barrier strips.
1. Pre-cut barrier strips
Pre-cut barrier strips offer convenience and ease of use. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a ready-to-use option.
2. Cut-to-fit barrier strips
Having the ability to customize the size of each barrier strip is an attractive quality for many ostomates. This type of barrier strip is often available in sheets or rolls, allowing the user to cut to a customized shape and size.
3. Extended-wear barrier strips
These barrier strips benefit those who have an active lifestyle or change their pouch more often. They are designed to provide longer wear-time due to their long-lasting, durable adhesive. Most extended-wear barrier strips have a hypoallergenic adhesive to help prevent skin irritation and are water-resistant.
Four Tips for How to Use Barrier Strips
Here are four tips that may help you get the most out of ostomy barrier strips to be comfortable and leak-free.
1. Trimming for Precision
Many ostomates find that barrier strips are too large for their specific needs. And if you use sheets or rolls, your only option is cutting to size. Trim the barrier strip to fit the contours of your stoma and surrounding skin precisely. A snug fit enhances comfort and reduces the chances of the strip curling or peeling at the edges.
2. Prepping the Skin to Optimize Adhesion
After measuring and trimming your barrier strips, it is time to prep the skin for application. Achieving a secure seal is critical to preventing leaks. Prep the skin with a non-alcohol-based adhesive wipe, as alcohol can dry the skin and reduce adhesion.
Barrier wipes are specifically designed for ostomy care before applying the ostomy barrier strip. Convatec makes high-quality silicone-blend, alcohol-free barrier sprays and wipes named ESENTA. Using these products can enhance the longevity of the seal and reduce the risk of skin damage and irritation.
You can also try warming the barrier strip slightly before application to enhance its stickiness, ensuring a more reliable and long-lasting seal.
3. Use a Moisture Absorber
Moisture around the stoma can compromise the adhesion of the barrier strip. Consider using a moisture-absorbing powder to help protect the skin around the stoma from perspiration or residual fluids from cleaning. These moisture-absorbing powders can also help reduce friction between the skin and the ostomy barrier, keeping the peristomal skin healthy.
4. Safe and Gentle Removal
Safely and gently removing ostomy barrier strips is just as important as applying them. Use an ostomy adhesive remover spray or wipe to loosen the strip gently without causing skin trauma. Convatec ESENTA Adhesive Remover is available in a spray or a wipe for convenience. These silicone-based, alcohol-free products quickly remove adhesive, leaving the skin clean and free of any residue. Pulling the strip away too quickly can lead to damage, irritation, and discomfort.
Summing Up How to Use Ostomy Barrier Strips
Mastering the use of ostomy barrier strips involves more than just the basics. Hopefully, by incorporating these tips into your routine, you can enhance the effectiveness and comfort of your ostomy care. Remember, everyone’s body is unique, so it may take some experimentation to find the best technique for you.
For a wide range of high-quality ostomy supplies, visit Personally Delivered, where you can find the products to manage your ostomy confidently.
Popular Ostomy Barrier Strips and Sheets
Disclaimer: Important Notice Regarding Medical Advice
The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.