Can You Get Your Ostomy Wet?

Learning to live with an ostomy is a big change for most, as not only are you adapting to a new way for your body to dispose of waste, but you’re also learning to live with something attached to your body. And that’s something that can be weird for a lot of people to new ostomies, because they’re always confused about what they can and can’t do with their bodies.

One of the absolute most often asked questions surrounding what you can do with your ostomy? If you can get your pouching system wet. We get it though, it’s a valid question to something that is still relatively unknown to most people. So, let’s jump into a proper answer for basic ostomy care.

Yes, you can still shower, get in a bath, or even swim with your pouching system on. However, it’s always recommended to empty your pouch before doing any of these things simply in case something did go wrong during the time you were getting wet (but this is extremely rare, so don’t fear). Also, when showering or bathing, feel free to do so without your pouching system on, or else you can leave it on. That’s up to you.

Another thing to consider is that water won’t hurt or even get inside your body through  your stoma. However, if you’re showering with it exposed, make sure that the water pressure that’s hitting your skin isn’t too strong and hitting your stoma directly, as this could cause irritation. Your ostomy care is important, so don’t overdo anything if you’re unsure how it will affect your skin surrounding the area.

The biggest thing to remember is that you need to check your pouching system before and after any water activities, as prolonged exposure could cause the system to loosen. You don’t want this to happen, as it could mean changing a system before you need, and that’s both annoying to stop all activities and take care of and also a waste of your ostomy supplies.

Still, rest easy knowing your pouching system is waterproof, as they’re made this way for ease of bathing and showering. Additionally, use a towel or hairdryer on cool when drying the tape and cloth backing of your pouching system. This will enable it to stick better to your system after you’ve been in the shower or the pool, and the fewer complications you have, the easier your life will be while having an ostomy.

Should You Use Skin Barrier Sealants?

Ensuring your ostomy supplies don’t leak or fall off your body can be tough if you’re new to the whole game of stoma cleaning and pouching system replacement. Still, there are a few things you can do to keep things going smoothly. The main things to consider are proper cleaning and ostomy care as well as having the right fitting system for your individual stoma, but otherwise, we have some tips for you.

If you’re someone who sweats a lot, you may feel like your adhesive barrier is prone to coming loose and allowing leakage. If this is the case, you could dust your skin with a powder specifically for your skin barrier. From there, you can dab some sealant on top of the powder before fitting the system in place. This is great for beginners as well, so long as your nurse approves of the accessories to help better adhesion to your skin.

Additionally, removing hair from around the site can help for the skin barrier to stick better. If you want to shave the area around the stoma, go for it. Just make sure you practice proper cleaning and ostomy care like you would any other time with that particular area of skin. Some people choose to dry shave with a skin barrier powder, some choose to use an electric razor, and others opt for mild soap and water. Whatever you go with, just do the right things and take your time.

You’ll be glad to have an area free of hair for proper sealing when it comes to changing out your skin barriers. Additionally, make sure to shave in the direction your hair grows to further reduce irritation. There’s no need in creating a problem out of nothing. Shave like you would any other area.

Skin sealants are also available in different forms, such as wipes, gels, and even sprays. It’s important to consider your options and what works best for your body when caring for your stoma, so choose what caters to your individual needs. Also, keep in mind that your skin may be sensitive to adhesives, which may mean a sealant is even better for you (whereas it may not work for others). And if you happen to have dry or even too oily of skin? A sealant is your best bet. More often than not, people just don’t know about using a sealant because they’ve never explored their options. While it costs a little more, the convenience can be absolutely worth the cost.

What Is an Ostomy?

Often times medical conditions, diseases, surgical procedures, and other things surrounding the medical world are shrouded in mystery because not enough people have those things. And more often than not, there’s a mystery surrounding these things because people see medical things as taboo since health is related and no one likes to face the facts of something happening to them eventually. If everyone was more open to the idea that life is fleeting and abnormalities arise, I truly think we’d live in a more enlightened society that is open to knowledge and treatments.

Nonetheless, one of those things that not enough people know about are ostomies. So let’s dig right into the meat of this article: What is an ostomy?

Well, an ostomy is basically a surgical procedure that could change your body excretion system. Typically ostomies are needed because of malfunctioning parts of the urinary or digestive systems, and they can be both temporary or permanent.

With most ostomies, a ostomy bag is worn over the stoma to collect your body’s excretion. For some people, a pouch is not needed. However, what’s typical with ostomies is a pouching system that stays close to the abdomen and collects wastes.

As your body’s excretion is passing through a surgically created stoma into a pouch, many medical complications of human body are avoided. Whether it’s cancer, inflammatory diseases in the bowel, birth defects, or a slew of other medical conditions, an ostomy can be your answer to life. Other times, severe trauma to the abdomen or pelvis may warrant an ostomy, and so it’s not just for conditions but also for serious injury. Ostomy care is your answer to a clean and healthy system for waste diversion when any of these things befall you or your family.

If you’re unsure about your ostomy care and what you should be doing to keep your pouching system and stoma clean, talk to your doctor or nurse about proper care and cleaning, and make sure you’re getting the most quality products you can.