A prolapsed stoma is a stoma that begins to hang noticeably farther and farther out of your body without retracting. This is not normal and should be reported to your NSWOC or doctor.
It’s normal for your stoma to change in length slightly throughout the day, but this should not be confused with an actual prolapse. Your stoma can look contracted and almost flush with your skin; minutes later, it may appear soft and look longer. This minor variation in length is normal stoma behavior. It can react to cold or being handled by contracting and ‘shortening’ up. Peristalsis can also make the stoma look shorter or longer. Stomas can also look and feel, either hard or soft, depending on whether contraction is happening.
What is not normal is if you notice your stoma looks consistently longer and starting to hang out of your body more than usual. Measure your stoma’s length after six weeks, and if you notice it is getting longer, you should have your NSWOC check it. Prolapsed stomas are inconvenient and more prone to injury.
Folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles and often happens in men. It is usually caused by traumatic hair removal, such as hair under the flange pulled out when it is removed or shaving. If your skin has become irritated with this, a protective skin powder will usually permit the skin to heal. Men can avoid this condition by carefully shaving or clipping the skin that the flange will cover. Shaving in the direction of hair growth may help avoid skin irritation. Adhesive remover sprays can help prevent pulling out hair follicles. If you suspect you may have folliculitis, you should see your NSWOC to confirm and treat the problem.
Tip: if you’re nervous about shaving so close to your stoma, an empty cardboard toilet roll makes a good shield around it.