Basic Ostomy Skin Care

A Guide for Patients and Health Care Providers

People who have a stoma often have many of the same questions and concerns. This resource document gives answers to some of the questions that people ask about the care of a stoma and the skin around the stoma. The answers are for the person who has a stoma but may be helpful for the nurse as a teaching tool.

People with a stoma may think it is normal that the skin around their stoma could get sore from the stool, urine, or the pouching system. The skin around the stoma should look the same as the rest of the skin on the abdomen. It is important to protect the skin from stool, urine, and chemicals by treating the skin gently and using products correctly. This will decrease the chance for skin problems.

The best approach is to keep pouching simple.

The best approach to pouching is to start with a basic pouching system. Extra products should only be added when needed to get consistent wear time and to keep the skin healthy. It is important to follow your wound, ostomy, continence (WOC) nurse or health care provider’s recommendations and to follow the directions from the product manufacturers.

If you have questions about the information in this document, problems with leakage, or skin problems around the stoma, contact your WOC nurse or your health care provider.