Ostomy Accessories

You can use ostomy accessories to improve the wear-time of your pouching system. Most NSWOCs take a “less is best” approach to pouching and will only recommend accessory products when necessary. Whether you need to use ostomy accessories depends on your skin and stoma type. Some people have very dry or oily skin, and some are prone to irritation. Some have a hard-to-fit stoma due to sitting, shape, scarring or body type. In that case, you may not necessarily have to use skin sealants, paste and the like. It helps to know about these products if you run into problems with leakage or skin irritation. It is always best to contact an NSWOC about issues with your stoma.

SkinBarrier Rings

People with chronic leakage, fitting problems or very sensitive skin may find skin barrier rings beneficial. The rings, or seals are similar to a flange but made out of different material that is hypoallergenic and soothing to the skin. Rings come in different thicknesses and can be moulded or stretched by hand to custom fit around the stoma. You should see your Ostomy Nurse for help learning to apply a barrier ring correctly.

Paste& Powder

Paste is often misused and, it could be argued, misnamed. (It could be said that ‘putty’ might be a better term.) This product should not be used as an adhesive and only be used to fill in any uneven areas on the skin under the flange to make the skin level and gain a good seal. The other function of paste is a caulking material around the base of the stoma to keep discharge from leaking and getting under the wafer.

Your NSWOC may recommend skin barrier powder to dry a raw, weepy area on your skin. To apply, clean the irritated area with water and pat as dry as you can. Lightly dust the powder over the affected area. Brush off the excess and apply your pouch as usual. Some people dab or spray a skin sealant over the powder before applying their flange (also known as the Crusting Technique). It is best to stop using once the skin has healed unless otherwise instructed by your NSWOC.

SkinSealant / Barrier Wipes

Skin sealant (sometimes called barrier film or skin prep) puts a plastic-like coating on the skin. A sealant may help if you have skin that tears easily or use an ostomy skin barrier powder. Some people who have dry or oily skin find that their pouching system sticks better when using a skin sealant. If regular sealants (which may contain alcohol) are too irritating, you may use no-alcohol sprays and wipes such as Cavilon. Nexcare No Sting Bandage is alcohol-free and does essentially the same as Cavilon.

OstomyAdhesive & Remover

Adhesive cements and sprays are not as widely used these days but may be helpful for those who are having a lot of trouble keeping a flange in place. It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as many adhesives require 3 to 5 minutes to dry properly. A sticky residue can sometimes build up on your skin. Ideally, you should remove this with mild soap and water, but if it’s not coming off, you may need to use an adhesive remover. After using this product, you should wash the skin well with water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

Tapes

You can purchase common tape brands such as Micropore over the counter at most drug stores. These products are skin-friendly (can be removed without damaging the skin) and help keep a hard-to-stick flange secure. People often tape the edges of their flange for extra security if engaging in sports or swimming. However, most appliances these days hold up well in water.

Flange Extenders

Flange extenders, also called elastic and extender tape can provide a simple and effective solution to complications with the adhesion of ostomy bags. They offer added security, increased wear time, help secure the edges of your flange and prevent lifting. Flange extenders can help provide extra protection during activities such as bathing, swimming and exercise.

Absorbent Gel

Some manufacturers make absorbent gel products explicitly designed to convert liquid ileostomy waste into a more solid and easily managed consistency. Gel can be in powder form or packaged in a dissolvable film packet dropped into the pouch each time the pouch is emptied or cleansed. As the pouch fills, the packet dissolves, and liquid waste becomes more solid, reducing pouch noise and the chances of peristomal irritation.

Ostomy Belts

An alternative way to keep your appliance in place during vigorous activity is to wear an ostomy belt. These elastic belts hook onto the small loops on your pouch or flange. Ostomy belts are also helpful in holding the flange snugly to the body, preserving the seal and helping prevent leakage.
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