Gauze to clean around stoma

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 8/25/2010 5:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone,
Do you guys use non-sterile gauze to clean around your stoma or do you use something else? Also, when I was changing my wafer today my stoma was flowing .. I guess I didn't time it right. Do you eat the marshmellows 10 mins before changing or longer?

Thanks!! :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 1325
   Posted 8/25/2010 6:03 PM (GMT -6)   
ucfree, I do not use sterile gauze because the area is far from sterile. :)

I have not tried the marshmallows yet....but I have definitely dealt with the stoma squirting all over the place....I have found that for me, it is best if I change the pouching system in the morning before I eat, drink, or even brush my teeth. My stoma wakes right up the instant I put anything in my mouth, even the toothpaste.

How are you feeling?
Diagnosed w/colonic inertia, obstructive defecation syndrome, anismus, rectocele, and intussusecption
2005-hysterectomy w/pelvic prolapse repairs
2010-subtotal colectomy, rectopexy, and temporary diverting loop ileostomy

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 8/25/2010 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
ucfree, it's not necessary but I do order the sterile gauze sponges to clean around my stoma because I'm comfortable with them. I also use some peristomal wipes that my supplier carries to clean off any extra gunk.

Also, I second the idea of changing your pouch first thing in the morning. You should be pretty cleaned out by than and not flowing.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 8/25/2010 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
My ostomy nurse (both of them) said most people just use paper damp paper towels to clean around the stoma.  I occasionally use the wipes to get adhesive build up off but normally... water and paper towels clean just fine.  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 6571
   Posted 8/25/2010 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
i buy these cheap towels from walmart and cut them into squares and use those.
I just change whenever, mine is always busy in the morning. I just change it and hope it wont go off, lol.
UC for 8 years, before finally kicking its butt and having a permanent ileostomy April 17 2007!
-I have gone to find myself, if i get back before i return, keep me here-
No matter what kind of day you are having, take five minutes to sing loudly and dance like a fool!

Equestrian Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 3115
   Posted 8/25/2010 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
We are all different on when to change turn personally, I cannot change right when I wake up, but can take care of my dogs, eat breakfast with coffee and take my shower...then I change and it's so, it depends on your body! There is no right or wrong.

You could try the marshmallow trick and wait 15 have a 50/50 chance it will work for you. Pay attention to your output for a few days and I am sure you'll find the right time for you smilewinkgrin

Oh, I use paper towels (Bounty Select A Size) and cut them in half. Nothing to wash and I only need about 5 per change so it's not too costly!

Good Luck!!

Scrap Girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 653
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I use two paper towells.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 291
   Posted 8/25/2010 9:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks guys and gals!! This is such a learning experience. My change today was a bit tough but better than before:)
Every day gets better thank God.
I'm feeling a lot better, still very tired around 3pm and I think that's mainly from withdrawl symptoms from all the dilaudid they pumped me with for 2 weeks in the hospital. I may just need some time to get over this hump :)
They're probably stopping the IV fluids I'm getting at home tomorrow so that's great news. My followup appt is on Monday and I'm hoping the doc takes this PICC line out of my bicep!

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/25/2010 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I peel off the old appliance, hop in the shower and scrub the peristomal area with soap and water. Exiting the shower I have a paper towel ready to dry and catch any discharge which I usually don't have first thing in the morning. I've been doing this for over 25 years and haven't soiled a new appliance yet. I generally change on a weekly schedule however I have made it two weeks but by then it's getting a little scary.

2b ColonFree
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2603
   Posted 8/26/2010 4:48 AM (GMT -6)   
glad you're getting better. i use paper towels too. i have 2 little small bowls, one with water and liquid soap and the other with only water, i wash it arount the stoma with the soapy water then with water alone, then dry the area and apply the wafer and bag :) - that's how the hospital's stoma nurse taught me to do it. it usually takes me 3 paper towels. but hummmm... was wondering something about showering w/o the appliance, i think i should start a new topic :)
06/05/2007 - STARR procedure
colonic inertia w/pelvic floor dysfunction
08/16/2009 - total colectomy w/ileorectal anastomosis
07/08/2010 - loop ileostomy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1595
   Posted 8/26/2010 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   

What appliance do you use?


New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 8/26/2010 9:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dan,

I use convatec one piece drainable, ref# 22771 with stomahesive paste.

I used hollister two piece for a time after surgery because that's what they gave me in the hospital.
They also taught me how to make a drying rack for the bag out of a clothes hanger I couldn't figure out why I would want to wash and dry the inside of a bag that's used for ....

ileo since, I don't know 25+ I guess that makes it mid 80s

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 8/26/2010 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I use toilet paper and a wash cloth to clean, only dial soap. I did use 4x4's (non-sterile) they are gauze but not too practical expense wise. "Privey" usually tells me when it is time to change by leaking rarely do I get to choose bummer!! Lately I've been fighting skin ulcers under my stoma so we've been changing a lot. I did find some Friar's Balsm and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works--it seems to keep the stool off the ulcer and that's that needs to happen in order for it to heal. But man does it ever burn -ouchee-. I use a convatec two piece, eakin seal, and paste but I've read that coloplast is good too so I may ask for samples.

I usually get the wafer all ready before getting into the shower so after I'm dry I'm ready to place. As I've said "Privey" chooses the changes so sometimes I have her spitting and acting silly and sometimes we can change w/out any problem.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/28/2010 10:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I bought a bunch of cheap washcloths, and i'll use one of those damp to clean, then air dry or dab with toilet paper to dry.  I always work over my bathroom sink.  if my stoma becomes active i just stand on my tip-toes and lean over the sink.  With enough practice i've gotten the process down to a pretty quick time, and if i poop...well i poop.  What are ya going to do?

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 8/30/2010 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I use some toilet paper to wipe off most, then a wet, wrung out, baby washcloth to really get the area squeaky clean. I use the baby sized washcloths as I find they're not as awkward as the big ones, and they don't get too soiled as I've gotten off 90% of the gunk with the TP already.
33 years old, dx with Crohn's in 1998. Currently on :
Clofazimine 100mg daily,
Rifampin 600mg daily, and Clarithromycin 2 tabs daily
and Cipralex 10mg/day for anxiety.
Hydroxyzine, percocet, Ativan as needed.
5g pharmaceutical grade Omega 3's, 1000IU's Vitamin D3 daily
2 Perianal fistulas, and 1 more suspected. Crohn's only at end of colon, cecum. Remi, Asacol, Salofalk, Imuran, Humira did nada. Built immunity to long-term Cipro use, which also induced panic attacks.
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