Sore skin < Back

Leakage and constant changing of your pouch can easily lead to sore skin. Red, raised or itchy; here are some of the other factors that could contribute to problem skin around your stoma.

Changes in tummy shape More info

Sudden weight loss or gain, or parastomal hernias can make your skin uneven. This means the pouch won’t adhere securely to your skin and may cause abrasive leaks. Ask your stoma nurse about filler pastes, washers and new products like Dermacol®.

Small lumps around stomaMore info
Your surgeon will have stitched together where the skin and stoma meet during your operation. Occasionally, the area goes through a process of over-healing of the two surfaces, called granuloma, which can appear as moist, red raised areas. Repeated friction from the pouch can make this worse. If any lumps appear, you must seek the advice of your stoma care nurse.

Existing skin diseaseMore info
If you had a skin disease such as eczema or psoriasis prior to your operation, there is always the chance that it may reoccur near your stoma, afterwards. This may require a doctor who specialises in skin disease to advise on treatment. Use a cream rather than ointment to improve adhesion.

Changes in sensitivityMore info
Even if you have happily used the same stoma product for years, it is not unknown to suddenly become sensitive to it. If this has happened to you, please speak to your stoma care nurse, who will give you advice on what to do to solve the problem.
Hairy tummies More info

Gentlemen with hairy tummies may notice small pink pimples around the stoma. This is called folliculitis and is due to the pouch pulling on the tiny hair follicles in the skin. This can be reduced by shaving the skin around the stoma periodically, but not more than once a week. Use a new disposable razor and warm water only when doing this, as shaving creams, hair-removing creams and gels can all cause irritation and soreness.

Changes in your outputMore info
There are many reasons why the normal output from your stoma could change:
  • Changes in medication e.g. antibiotics or chemotherapy
  • Changes in your diet
  • Anxiety
  • Gastroenteritis
If the stool becomes loose or watery, this will increase the possibility of it leaking under the adhesive onto the skin and causing soreness. If you are experiencing a change in the consistency of your output, speak to your Stoma Care Nurse, who will be able to advise you.
Temporary or loop stomas More info
Thanks to recent advances in surgical procedures, fewer long-term stomas are being created. To make reversal of a stoma easier, a loop of bowel is brought to the surface and cut, leaving two openings - although you will probably only see one of them. This can increase the risk of retraction of the stoma; where, instead of the stoma looking like a spout slightly proud of the surface of your skin, it becomes level with it. This is more commonly a problem with temporary ileostomies, and is one of the causes of leakage. Again, your Stoma Care Nurse will advise you on how to treat this.
Caring for your skin booklet More info

Take a look at our digital booklet about skincare for ostomists — "Caring for your skin." Just click on the image to the right.