Life after colostomy surgery completely changes, though you can carry out your daily routine as you used to do, but you must remain alert. Showering with a colostomy bag is a new experience for individuals who have recently undergone colostomy surgery. Since maintaining hygiene is mandatory to have a healthy stoma showering while keeping the colostomy bag secure and functional is a concern of every ostomate.
If you are concerned about how to shower with a colostomy bag without getting your stoma wet and moist then this article will help you. Here we will reveal some valuable information and tips on how to shower with a colostomy bag, ensuring a clean and worry-free experience.
WHAT IS STOMA?
A critical part of taking care of your ostomy, especially during bathing, is getting to know your stoma. A stoma is like a small opening in your belly made during surgery. It usually looks pinkish and a bit wet, its size and shape can differ from person to person and is based on the surgery type.
A stoma doesn’t feel anything, and it doesn’t hurt because it doesn’t contain any nerve endings. The purpose of a stoma is to give your body a new way for waste to come out. An ostomy bag is worn over a stoma to hold all the expelled waste. Thanks to advancements in medical technology ostomy bags or colostomy bags are specially designed bags that catch all the poop from the stoma. These bags have made the life of ostomates easier allowing them to carry out their routine activities without any hassle.
Like every other activity, showering with a colostomy bag is also a simple and worry-free task.
HOW TO SHOWER WITH A COLOSTOMY BAG?
Here is you can bath along with your colostomy bag:
Gather your supplies:
The first and foremost thing that you have to do is to gather all the necessary supplies which include;
- Waterproof tape or barrier rings
- Sticker for filter cover
- A plastic bag or shower cover for your colostomy bag
- A mild, fragrance-free soap
- Soft washcloth or sponge
Empty the content:
If you are bathing with a colostomy bag then it is advisable to empty the contents of the bag, no matter if it is a one-piece or two-piece pouching system.
Secure Your Colostomy Bag:
To prevent water from entering your colostomy bag and potentially causing leaks, you can use waterproof tape or a barrier ring around your stoma. This helps maintain a seal and keep the bag securely in place. If your pouching system has a filter, then add the sticker or cover over the top of the filter to prevent water from entering the pouch. If you don’t get the filter sticker, you can use a clear, plastic wrap as a makeshift cover.
Adjust the Water Temperature:
When taking a shower with a colostomy bag, it’s crucial to maintain a comfortable water temperature. Extreme hot or cold water can cause the stoma to become more sensitive. Lukewarm water is generally the best choice.
While showering, handle your stoma and the area around it with care. Avoid scrubbing the stoma directly. Instead, gently cleanse the skin around it using a mild, fragrance-free soap and a soft washcloth or sponge.
Once you are done with the shower, pat dry your area with a clean and soft towel. Make sure that there is no moisture left. Always check the base plate of the pouching system to determine if it has absorbed water or not. If the edges of the baseplate become thicker, it means it has absorbed water. In such conditions, it is better to change the pouching system otherwise it will interfere with the adhesion of the colostomy bag. This helps maintain hygiene and prevents potential leaks. Always have extra bags and supplies on hand.
Check for Leaks:
Once you are done with drying, inspect the bag and the seal thoroughly for any signs of leaks. If you find any issue then immediately address it to maintain a dry and comfortable colostomy experience.
IS IT SAFE TO GET YOUR STOMA WET?
A lot of new ostomates are scared of getting their stoma wet. There isn’t anything dangerous about getting your stoma wet. Remember, water and air are not going to harm your stoma. However, some people experience irritation around their stoma. That is because of peristomal skin which can be irritated easily. So always consult with your doctor or ostomy nurse they will give you the best advice on your ostomy health and condition.
TIPS FOR SHOWERING WITH A COLOSTOMY BAG:
- Always empty your pouching system before bathing to avoid any mess.
- Never change the pouching system just before showering as the wafer requires some time to stick well to your skin.
- ensure that the wafer or skin protector is properly adhered to the skin.
- Do not use extremely hot water for bathing as the steam will interfere with the adhesion.
- You can use a hair dryer with a normal temperature for drying the ostomy pouching system.
Showering with a colostomy bag can be a manageable part of your daily routine with the right techniques and precautions. By securing the bag, using a shower cover, and maintaining gentle hygiene practices, you can ensure a clean and worry-free showering experience. Always consult with your healthcare provider or a stoma nurse for personalized advice and guidance on caring for your colostomy.
Remember that everyone’s situation may be different, and it’s essential to adapt these tips to your specific needs and preferences. Proper care and attention to hygiene will help you feel confident and comfortable in your daily life with a colostomy bag.