Skin around stoma is breaking down...

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 5/25/2009 1:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a leak at midnight, just before I went to bed. I changed it ( i haven't changed the wafer in 6 days, but the nurse said 1-2x per week, so I wasn't worried). Well, the wafer was AWFULLY sticky. To the point it was yanking on my skin. It didn't hurt the stoma, but when I got the wafer all the way off.. my stoma has pretty significant skin irritation! I don't know what to do. It's memorial day weekend, this crap ALWAYS happens during the weekends. It doesn't hurt terribly, but I imagine I've lost some feeling around that incision so that may be why I'm not feeling it. I gently cleaned it and it looks pretty good, but it is BRIGHT red around the stoma. I'm using the convex moldable wafers. I love these new wafers...super easy, but I wonder if they aren't going to work. Or maybe I need to use a seal?

I'm so scared I did something wrong.. so frustrated with this darn thing because I can't figure it out.

Any advice? Please help! I'm afraid it's going to cause me agonizing pain. When I put the wafer back on, I tried to push down gently around the stoma, but I didn't want to break anymore skin down, so I left that area open as much as possible. Is that wrong?
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Colozal. Failed Entocort. Failed Rowasa. Failed Steriods. Failed Steroid Enemas. Failed Remicade, Failed Clinical Trial ABT-874/Aisle 12, Failed Humira(severe reaction).
May 7th - Partial Colectomy - Sigmoid Rectal Ostomy - Partial Rectum left for possible re-connect later. Trying to get used to this new life with a bag.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 21 months old

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 5/25/2009 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kaycie
I have had problems with output getting onto skin under the seal.  I have been using poweder to help the skin heal which after a week or so it has shown improvement.  Its gone from open red blisters to slightly red skin now.  I have also started using a seal paste which is helping the flange stick down more.  I have only been doing this for a week with the paste but its helping. 
A load of people use Eakin Seals which seem to work great for a lot of them.  I will be ordering some of them with my next order ( i tried the samples a week ago).
I have also been changing reguarly to clean the skin more which has helped too.
I didnt cause me pain - just was itchy a bit.  More people will be able to help on here.  Try not to worry.
Elli 28
UC since 17
Azathioprine, prednisolone, Asacol,
blood transfusions, iron infusions.
Colon Removed 18 March 09.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 5/25/2009 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kaycie,

I'm so sorry your skin is so irritated. I had problems too & used the stoma powder and damped it with the protective barrier wipes. I found it was easier to remove the wafer while taking a shower, the water running on the area helped ease the discomfort of taking it off & would help to keep the area from becoming more irritated. I'd dry the area well, wipe with the barrier wipes, apply the stoma powder wherever there was irritation. Use a paper towel to wipe away excess powder and use the barrier wipes to help dampen the almost made it paste..but just on the areas of irritations. Too much can cause the wafer not to stick properly. I always used paste on the wafer to help create a seal also.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Take gentle care

12/11/08 surgery repair prolapsed intestines, bowel, rectum (enterocele, rectocele & intussusception)
12/12/08 surgery find source of bleeding, hemotoma in muscle behind vaginal wall (down to 7 hemo)
12/13/08 gelfoam embolism to stop bleeding (still at 7 hemoglobin
12/30/08 surgery temp ileostomy and rectal stent due to rectovaginal fistula 
03/18/09 surgery reverse ileostomy
06/09/09 more surgery scheduled
PTSD, depression, migraine headaches, gastritis, colitis & anxiety disorder

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 5/25/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -6)   

That can happen!  Here's a few tricks:

1.  Eakin Seal will protect that delicate skin right around your stoma.  I use the whole ring and even make it smaller than the opening so it is up close.  The mouldables are great, but they may not have enough "support" to go 6 days for you...try changing at 4 until the skin is cleared up.

2.  When you say you left the are "open" does that mean that the wafer doesn't go all the way to your stoma?  If it is not right up to the stoma, that area will continue to be irritated.

3.  Since you have a colostomy, you could probably get away with only using an ES when you have irritation...I think you mentioned something about irrigation on one of your posts...right?

4.  When removing your wafer, hold the wafer and push your skin away...don't try to pull the wafer away since that will only breakdown the skin. 

You'll be okay, take a few WILL get better smilewinkgrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2765
   Posted 5/26/2009 6:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Call your surgeon's office tomorrow and ask them to call in some Nystatin powder to your pharmacy. It's an anti-fungal. Put some of that on the irritated skin, and it will help. :-)
Dx'd Crohn's in '99 at 28. Proctocolectomy and ileostomy in '06.
Disease-free, medicine-free, and very thankful to be healthy again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 269
   Posted 5/26/2009 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I have some irritated skin as well. The people on here have been great helping me!

I use powder and then instead of the protective barrier wipe I use the 3M Cavilon NO STING protective skin barrier film in a pad. It is a little foam square that doesn't sting!!! The other ones from convatec stung so bad after I sealed the powder. Then I let it dry, put on an eakin seal, I use the whole thing.

I also use the convex moldable wafers. I push down on it good! I lay down and continue to push on it for a few minutes! This has really seemed to help the condition of my skin.

I know its hard, I've only been dealing with this for about 6weeks but you can do it! We all did!!!!

OH..about the 3M no sting pads, the nurse wouldn't order then for me so I went to my pharmacy and they ordered them. They were pretty cheap. I went to shopko, I don't know if you have them by you but they're great in their pharmacy!

25yrs old/ teacher/ Wisconsin

Diagnosed UC Pancolitis in Nov 2004
Diagnosed PSC in Oct 2006

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