What are stoma-adhesive skin barriers?
Stoma-adhesive skin barriers are thin, flexible, and often transparent sheets that are placed around the stoma to protect the skin from digestive fluids, urine, and other body wastes that may cause irritation, inflammation, and infection.
Here are some other reasons why stoma-adhesive skin barriers are essential to ostomy care:
- They prevent leakage: Stoma-adhesive skin barriers are designed to create a seal around the stoma, preventing waste from leaking onto the skin. This can help minimize the risk of skin infections and other complications.
- Improved adhesion: Stoma-adhesive skin barriers can help improve the adhesion of the stoma pouch to the skin. This can help prevent leaks and ensure that the bag stays in place.
- Reduced odor: Stoma-adhesive skin barriers can help reduce odors associated with stoma output, which can be especially important for people who are conscious of their condition.
- Improved comfort: Stoma-adhesive skin barriers are often made from soft, flexible materials that conform to the body. This can help provide comfort and reduce irritation around the stoma.
Types of stoma-adhesive skin barriers
There are two main types of stoma-adhesive skin barriers: flat and convex. Flat skin barriers are suitable for people with a stoma level with the skin or slightly above the skin surface. Convex skin barriers, on the other hand, are designed for people with a stoma that is recessed or below the skin surface. The convex shape of the skin barrier creates a gentle pressure around the stoma, which helps pull it out and make it more visible.
Stoma-adhesive skin barriers come in different sizes, shapes, and adhesive strengths. Some are pre-cut to fit specific stoma sizes and shapes, while others are cut-to-fit and can be customized to fit any stoma. The adhesive strength of the barrier can vary depending on the manufacturer and the user's skin type. Some have a gentle adhesive suitable for sensitive skin. In contrast, others have a more robust glue ideal for active individuals who engage in physical activities.
How to choose the proper stoma-adhesive skin barrier?
Choosing the proper stoma-adhesive skin barrier can be challenging, especially for first-time ostomy users. Working closely with an ostomy nurse or doctor who can help determine the best skin barrier for your needs is essential. They can assess your stoma size, shape, and output, as well as your skin type and any allergies or sensitivities.
When choosing a stoma-adhesive skin barrier, consider the following factors:
- Stoma size and shape: Choose a barrier that matches your stoma's size and shape. Using the wrong size can cause leaks and skin irritation.
- Skin type: Choose a barrier that is suitable for your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, choose one with a gentle adhesive. If you have oily skin, choose a barrier with stronger glue.
- Output consistency: If your stoma output is liquid or watery, choose a barrier with a deep convexity to prevent leaks. Select one with a flat or shallow convexity if your stoma output is thick or pasty.
- Activity level: If you are active or engage in physical activities, choose a barrier with a stronger adhesive that can withstand movement and sweat.
In summary, stoma-adhesive skin barriers are an essential component of ostomy care that helps protect the skin around the stoma, prevent leaks, and promote adherence. Choosing a suitable ostomy barrier can be challenging, but working closely with your healthcare provider can help determine the best barrier for your needs.