Output from and ileostomy can be very irritating to the skin surrounding the stoma. Without proper attention, the skin can become permanently damaged. Skin around the stoma should look and feel the same as the rest of the abdomen. Following are some tips that may help to minimize skin irritation.
- The skin barrier and pouch system opening should be the right size for the stoma. If the opening is too small, the stoma can be injured. If the opening is too large, the skin will be exposed to output and will become irritated. Be sure to use a pouching system that fits the stoma.
- Change the appliance quickly if itching or burning occur.
- When changing the appliance, push the skin away from the barrier rather than pulling the appliance from the skin.
- Clean the area around the stoma with warm water. Mild soaps can be used as tolerated. Dry the skin thoroughly before applying a new appliance.
- Use skin protection products if the skin is becoming irritated.
Blood spots on the stoma are common. The stoma is very delicate and cleaning around the stoma can cause minor bleeding. The bleeding should stop very easily and should be minimal.