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Chapter 24: Ostomist's Top Tips

This is a page where ostomists share their very own top tips - a page written by ostomists for ostomsits.

The page is in it's early days so we are still welcoming submissions for the page. If you have a time saving tip, a money saving tip, or indeed any ostomist based tip which you've found useful and will benefit other ostomists please submit it. You'll be created with the tip on the page.

It can help to control smell, wash the skin easier, stop pancaking, help the bag stick better or indeed anything to do with ostomist lifestyle.

So, without further ado, here are some top tips.

Submitted by: Jase - webmaster.
Here are my own two top tips.
1. To help the pouch flange stick better gently warm it's sticky side - a low heat hairdryer for 30 secs is ideal for this. It helps make the glue super-tacky, and also makes firm flanges more plyable and mouldable to your personal skin.

2. If you are changing the flange etc with your clothes, roll up your shirt/sweater etc at the front to reveal the ostomy. The take a regular clothes peg and peg the clothes into place. This way you have both hands free to clean your ostomy, and not have to struggle with one hand as the other is holding your clothes up, or worse yet saves you getting chin/neck ache from holding the clothes up with your chin. :o)

Submitted by: JACK (Via Topica)
I try to fight the odor with incense. I keep tick kind handy in the bathroom and the holder on the top of the tank. Also a lot of scented candles. Probably not original but it might help some new wearers.

Submitted by: Jackie (Via Topica)
I have another hint after you shower, use a hair dryer to dry your tapes and bag, I have one that has a cold setting and it works great.

Submitted by: George
Here is one for urostomates or perhaps all ostomates. To keep "dry" during changes try this. Take a good quality paper towel and fold it twice making it a 6 X 6 square. Cut an X in the center large enough to fit over your stoma. When changing, place the X over the stoma and take the four corners of the towel and pull them up and hold them like a flower over the stoma. This will provide a collection wick and allow you to move the paper collector around to, shave, clean, dry or whatever you want while staying dry from dribbles. Sure beats Tampax or gauze.

Submitted by: "dflorio"
I have a number of things that have helped me over my first year of being an ostomate.
1.) I use a terry cloth baby bib when I get out of the shower. I put it around the neck of my appliance. The bib acts as a barrier between the moist plastic against your skin and also dry the pouch while you are drying the rest of your body.

2.) I burn a candle during my appliance changes. I helps the air quality during my change.

3.) I use an eakin seal as part of my appliance. Warming the seal up between your hands make it easier to work with when trying to size it properly.

4.) I have an area of my bathroom closet set aside for ostomy equipment in a vary organized method. I also try to keep a number of changes prepared for use. I mean the wafers are cut and I put the required items in a zip lock bags so I am ready if an emergency arises.

Submitted by: "Don"
I have had an ileostomy for 20 years. To prevent any skin damage around the stoma I found that the application of an antacid like Malox Extra Strength for about a 1/4 of an inch around the stoma (dried with a hair drier to a white powder) cures any irritation.

Submitted by: "Jaime B."
Three things I have found to be helpful in dealing with my colostomy.

1. To help the waste empty from your pouch easier, spray the inside of the pouch with a vegetable cooking spray.

2.In order to keep the opening of your drainable pouch clean while emptying it , create a "cuff " on the end of the bag before emptying (turn up the end). This will keep the portion where the clip is worn and the part by your body clean.

3. I keep the supplies that I need such as flanges, pouches, scissors, wipes, etc. together in a medium size carry-all bag, like one would use for toiletries when traveling. This way I just take it into the bathroom at home and it is also ready to throw into a suitcase for when I need to travel for work.

Submitted by:Rona M.
My husband has a new temporary colostomy. He uses a two-piece appliance and is able to use one bag for an entire week and keep it and his stoma relatively clean by using a turkey baster to flush the bag out with water each time he empties. It's fast, less expensive than changing the bag often, easier and more pleasant than removing the bag and rinsing it out, and much more hygenic than just cleaning around the end of the bag.

Submitted by:Yechiel Yanai
I've worked out a method that is convenient ,easy and clean. I use thin plastic sandwich bags, 18 by 25 cm that I cut down to to 22,as liners. I stuff one into the pouch with the lips protruding before I close it onto the barrier, and change them several times a day if necessary. The bags can be disposed of in small plastic containers with good lids (I use empty cottage cheese boxes,coffee cans, whatever is available after being emptied), or if there is a lot of waste or very soft--into the toilet bowl and down the drain.I find it especially convenient when traveling(Convatec has special black disposal bags that I take with me). One pouch can last a very long time using this method. The one drawback is that there is no ventilation/filter, so when the bag inflates I go into the bathroom,or other private place, and open the pouch an inch on the top and let the air out. This method has given me a lot of freedom of movement and decreased anxieties. Try it!!

Please note: Whilst these tips are offered in Good Faith you should always follow manufacturer's guidelines for their products, as well as Doctor's guidelines for your own health etc. The above mentioned tips are tried at your own risk and no guarantees are made that they will work for you.

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