Caring for the Skin Around Your Stoma

It’s vital to keep the skin around your stoma clean and healthy. Get some simple care tips that you can use every day. 


Learn how to care for your peristomal skin

The skin around your stoma is called peristomal skin. It is important to keep this area clean and protected from stoma output. Some routine stoma care tips can help you keep your peristomal skin healthy. 

Tips for caring for your peristomal skin

The general rule for taking care of peristomal skin is “less is better.” Here are some fundamental tips:

  • Water works best for cleaning the skin around your stoma
  • Don’t forget to wash your hands after emptying or changing your pouch
  • When you do need soap, it is best to use a mild product that won’t leave behind film or residue, which can get in the way of how well your skin barrier adheres.
  • After using an adhesive remover wipe, be sure to wash your peristomal skin with soap and water. Before putting on your next skin barrier, make sure to rinse and dry the peristomal skin.

Items to avoid

Again, basic is better for peristomal skin care. Common household products that are NOT recommended for use when caring for your peristomal skin include:

  • Soaps that include lotions
  • Skin care creams and lotions
  • Powders
  • Baby or skin wipes
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Steroidal ointments or medications

Watch out for peristomal skin problems

If your peristomal skin becomes uncomfortable, itchy, red, or sore, this may indicate some seepage of the stoma output onto the skin. Take off your appliance, wash the area, rinse and dry it, and apply a new appliance. You may need to review the fit of your appliance or contact your stoma care nurse if this problem is ongoing.