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Cancer: Colon Message Board

Cancer: Colon Board Index

It's best to have the skin looked at by an ET nurse just to be sure. But if this is not an option it could be a couple of things.

If this is a new occurrance, has he recently changed brands of appliance - it could be an allergy. It could also be a yeast infection - is the area itchy? There are solutions for this but I've never had a yeast problem so I don't know what to suggest.

The opening on the flange could be cut too large leaving exposed skin that will get irritated from the stool. The diameter of the opening should 1/16 to 1/8 inch larger than the diameter of the stoma. There are some brands of flange that are made from a very soft material that allow them to "turtleneck" around the base of the stoma to prevent stool from getting underneath - try Convatec Moldable flanges.

Another good product is the Eakin seal. You can take a piece of the material -I get the flat seals and cut off a strip - and roll it into a small rope and press it around the opening of the flange. Warm up the flange and Eakin material with a hair blower before pressing onto the skin to get a really good seal. There is something in this product that helps skin heal. You can also take a small piece and flatten it over any red spots. Put this on the clean, dry skin before using any skin protective product. You can use a barrier spray - Nexcare No-Sting Liquid Bandage is a good one (available in the drug store in North America) or any of the ones made by the appliance manufacturers over the skin before putting on the flange. Sometimes putting a little Stomahesive powder (dusting off any excess) over the irritated area - if it is weeping - before putting on the liquid barrier helps. Make sure the barrier lotion/spray is totally dry before putting on the new flange.

Also make sure to change the flange as soon as there is a leak or when the skin starts to itch or burn. This varies from person-to-person and can be 2-8 days. Stool will start to irritate the skin very quickly after coming in contact. Especially for those with ileostomies.

It may take some experimenting. Some people don't use any additional products and have no problems. This is highly individual as skin sensitivity so variable. Try different products and combinations and you should find some solution. It took me 6 months to figure it all out!

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