showering with an ileostomy- any tricks?

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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/25/2006 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay, so I'm at the point now where my staples are healing enough to allow me to saran wrap the bandaged portion and have a shower...which brings me to my question: What is the most effective way to shower with an ileostomy?  I left my bag on which is fine and dandy except it took me a good 10 minutes to blow-dry it dry and that's time I'd rather spend drying my hair once I am recovered and working again.  It is safe to shower with the bag off and just the wafer part attached to my body or would that increase the risk of a leak down the road? I've also heard about caps, is there a cap I could put over it just while i'm in the many possibilities  Anyone have any suggestions?
earthgirl :-)

Post Edited (earthgirl) : 3/26/2006 8:17:04 AM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 1250
   Posted 3/25/2006 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I shower with the bag on every day except when I'm changing it - then I shower totally naked :)

Try not to make ostomy care any harder than it should be. I can understand the plastic wrapping for now while your wound is still new but once it's healed, don't worry about using it. I don't do anything special when showering. When I get out of the shower, I towel dry my bag (it has a thin cloth covering over it) and that's it. Some people like to use a hairdryer on it's lowest setting to dry the wafer but I never have time for that. Body heat does the job just as well, just takes a little longer.

On change days, I take the whole bag off, step in the shower and let the water run over Harriet (my stoma). She loves the warm water and it helps get her really clean. If she decides to spurt while I'm in the shower, it all just goes down the drain anyway so I never worry about that one. I then hop out, put a tissue over her, towel dry around her and make sure she is really dry and then proceed to put an Eakin Seal and my one piece bag on.

You can shower with just the wafer on, but it's not really recommended cos the water can erode the wafer and reduce weartime. Having said that, it's personal preference so if you want to shower with it on, go for it!

Hope this helps.


I have had an ileostomy for 30 years now due to UC.
I'm not a complete idiot - some parts of me are missing!

Post Edited (Shaz032) : 3/25/2006 8:56:14 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 3/26/2006 8:14 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Shaz!

I guess it's a good thing that I'm starting to stress over little things instead of big things, right?! I must be healing or something :-) .  I will try the towel dry thing the next time I have a shower...not sure why it didn't dawn on me to really try that in the first place.  Once my staples are healed enough to be uncovered Lou (my stoma) and I are REALLY going to enjoy having a nice, long shower!  It's nice to know that the water won't harm the stoma at all.  Thanks for the info :-) .


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 335
   Posted 3/26/2006 3:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi earthgirl.

Sometimes I shower with the bag on and sometimes I shower without it. I have got one of those stoma cups with an elastic belt from whiterose collection. I find it especialy useful for when I am drying off with a towel after my shower. I can use both hands to dry myself then,rather than trying to hold a tissue to my stoma with one hand and drying with the other. Occasionaly I have worn the cup if I want to take a soak in the bath rather than a shower.

As Shaz said though its personal preferance. Just go with what feels right for you.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2003
Total Posts : 484
   Posted 4/1/2006 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I use a two piece bag system (Coloplast Easiflex 2 piece) , and affix a clean bag (keeping on the same backing flange) after my shower every morning. I don't have time for a one piece as I work full-time and am in enough of a rush as it is!

I'm 27, from the UK and have Crohn's colitis and an ileostomy

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