Disclaimer: The information in this post is based on product knowledge from product information direct from the manufacturer and also personal use of products within my own stoma care. All experiences given here are my own and should not be taken as medical advice. If you require advice or support about any aspect of your stoma care, please contact your SCN in the first instance or your GP.
What is it?
Stoma powder is a non-medicated powder that is designed to absorb moisture from raw or broken skin surrounding a stoma. It can also be known as stomahesive powder or peristomal skin protection.
Common selling points of stoma powder are:
- Absorbs moisture to lessen the risk of skin irritation
- Helps form a protective barrier for moist skin which is either excoriated or weeping.
- Prevents further damage and promotes healing
- Comes in a handy puffer dispenser.
- For the above selling point this means that you can either puff a cloud for hard to reach areas or target specific areas by creating lines or dots for more accurate application.
Who uses it?
Stoma powder can be used with a colostomy, ileostomy, and/or urostomy. If the skin around your stoma becomes red, irritated, or weepy, stoma powder can help your skin heal. This damage to your skin can happen for a variety of reasons; so it is always helpful to speak to your SCN for more specific advice.
How is it used?
- Wash and dry the skin around your stoma thoroughly as per your normal routine.
- Apply a small amount of stoma powder to the irritated open skin with the puffer dispenser.
- Only apply stoma powder to the raw and moist skin.
- Gently brush away excess powder using a soft tissue. The powder will only stick to the open raw skin.
- No stoma powder should be left on the surrounding skin – this will interfere with the adhesion of your bag.
- Once your skin heals and it is no longer moist, stop using the stoma powder, it is not meant to prevent skin irritation
You can also apply powder in a technique called “Crusting” and it can help make the stoma powder work better. This is when you use stoma powder and then set the applied stoma powder in place with a skin preparation product. After you apply the stoma powder using the above directions you then seal the powder with a skin barrier wipe or spray:
- It is important that the stoma powder is applied first.
- After the powder is in place, gently dab a sting-free skin prep wipe to the area around your stoma and the surrounding skin. Let this dry before you apply your bag as normal.
The outcome means that the skin that is not irritated but protected from adhesive and discharge / output.
When is it used?
By absorbing moisture, the stoma powder can help the ostomy barrier/flange to adhere better while allowing the skin around the stoma to heal. Ostomy stoma powder is not meant as a skin protectant and it will not prevent irritation. It is only meant to be used to absorb moisture from skin that is moist to the touch due to irritation. It is to only be used in instances where the skin is raw and moist from output touching it. Once this skin has healed, powder should not be continued as part of the routine.
Some tips for treating redness and irritated skin with Stoma Powder:
- Apply the stoma powder to clean dry skin.
- Apply a light dusting of the powder to red and irritated skin. Gently brush off excess powder with a soft clean cloth.
- Baby powder is not the same thing as Stoma Powder: do not use this as a substitute! Baby powder can interfere with pouch adhesion and it will not absorb moisture as well as stoma powder.
- If there is no improvement, contact your SCN he or she can help you troubleshoot the irritation and hopefully find another solution.
- Improvement should be seen within a week of your normal routine of changes. This depends on your pouching system and / or your frequency of changes.
- Never give up! You deserve healthy happy skin! You should never have to just ‘live with‘ sore and broken skin. This is not the norm.
I’ve found that powder really does work wonders! When used correctly, it’s saved my skin quite a few times. I first began having some soreness when my stoma was brand new and my template for the size kept changing. We used seals and powder together in the beginning, regularly re-assessing if the powder needed to be continued or stopped. I ordered a full size bottle of Orahesive Powder back at the end of 2018 and I’m only just finishing this bottle! That is testimony to a couple of things – a) that less is more, a thin layer is what is required, b) I use it when needed, so it’s only brought into the routine once I’ve visually assessed my peristomal skin and c) it has a long shelf life!
I’ve tried the crusting method too, but usually when I’m at my wit’s end and need some more relief from my broken skin. Despite being under a baseplate, you can still feel the itch or soreness when your bag is on, so I crust up in those instances when it’s gone on for a couple of days without improvement. And whilst I’ve got regular contact with my SCN, I rarely have to ask for product advice these days.
Samples – not all companies make them! NO POWDER from Salts Healthcare, Dansac or Clinimed at present.
- Hollister Adapt Stoma Powder & Karaya Powder
- Coloplast Brava Powder
- Welland Medical Stoma Powder
- ConvaTec Orahesive Powder
- Respond OstoSEAL Protective Powder
- Oakmed Healthcare Stoma Powder
NB: all products are available on the UK Drug Tariff and should be available on prescription. For those with a permenant stoma, they are entitled to stoma products under a Medical Exception Certificate, valid for 5 years. Some GP’s are governed by a Clinic Comissioning Group (CCG) Formulary – which dictates qualities and expected usage of products. It is worth enquiring about this, if needs be.
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram