Question: Difficulty Finding a Dermatologist for those living with an Ostomy in the Hamilton Burlington Area

I’ve been referred by my family doctor to a dermatologist who informed me that she does not treat those living with an Ostomy. Since then, I’ve struggled to find a dermatologist in the Hamilton Burlington area who can address skin conditions specific to ostomates. While NSWOC (Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence) nurses offer great advice, they are not equipped to treat serious skin conditions. What are my options?

Response: Exploring Alternative Resources for Skin Care in Ostomates

Navigating dermatological care as an ostomate can be challenging, but there are several avenues you might consider:

  1. Homecare Intake Line: If the skin condition is impacting your quality of life, you have the option to self-refer to homecare. Request an assessment by a NSWOC nurse, emphasizing how the issue is affecting your ostomy care.
  2. Ostomy Sales Stores: Some stores specializing in ostomy products may have NSWOC nurses available for consultation and advice.
  3. Ostomy Manufacturer Support: Companies like Hollister Canada, Coloplast, and Convatec often have NSWOC nurses who can provide online assistance and guidance.
  4. Ostomy Canada Website: Use the Ostomy Canada website to locate a NSWOC nurse operating an outpatient clinic in your area.
  5. Local Ostomy Chapter Meetings: Attending meetings can be a great way to connect with others who have an ostomy and gather information on how they have addressed similar challenges.

These suggestions aim to provide you with accessible resources and support. Remember, finding the right healthcare professional for your specific needs is crucial, and exploring these options may lead you to the appropriate care and treatment.

Karen Bruton, RN BScN MCISc-WH WOCC(C)
Nurse Education Consultant – Interprofessional Practice Support
Indigenous Services Canada, Government of Canada
Ostomy Canada (Volunteer)
Medical and Lifestyle Advisory Team Lead


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