UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Skin Care Issues

Skin irritation, rashes, or breakdown of the skin around the stoma may be caused by leakage from around the flange, irritation from an improperly fitted appliance, or rash from a skin infection.

Sore skin due next to or near the stoma:

  • Periodically measure the stoma and resize the flange opening to be slightly larger than the stoma.
  • Use an opening that is just slightly larger than the stoma so that your skin is protected and the wafer does not rub your stoma. 
  • Use a light dusting of ostomy powder to any wet, open skin and then apply the properly fitted flange over the treated skin. Change the flange in 3 days and treat again if not totally resolved.
  • DO NOT use ointment.

Rash:

  • Sometimes a rash is caused by a skin infection, skin sensitivity or leakage.
  • The rash may be red or red with bumps. The rash is usually itchy.
  • Make an appointment with the ostomy nurse to evaluate the rash.
  • Use the treatment only a short period of time to clear up the rash. Stop the treatment after the rash is gone.
  • If rash persists, contact the ostomy nurse.

Folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle) appears as red bumpy rash:

  • Redness that occurs at the base of each hair shaft may indicate the hair is pulled out traumatically with flange removal.
  • Remove the hair from the adhesive area by either clipping with scissors or shaving.

Allergy to wafer:

  • If a rash perfectly matches the wafer, you may be allergic to the adhesive, ostomy paste or barrier.
  • When cleansing the skin, do not use any soaps. Rinse the skin well. Do not use any skin preparations.
  • If rash persists, make an appointment with the ostomy nurse.