From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook July 1996:

Skin Care--Push the Skin
Don't Pull the Tape

from Metro Maryland Newsletter, via Oklahoma City Ostomy News

Damaging the skin around a stoma (or anywhere else) is asking for infection. Don't peel your pouch away from your body. Take hold of an edge of the adhesive sections of tape and push the skin away from the tape.

In older people and babies with thin skin, you can peel their skin off by pulling on the tape. Take a good look at what is happening when you pull on the tape. The tape is being pulled upwards, dragging the skin with it until it is pulled hard enough to break loose. It even looks painful!

When you push the skin away from the tape, it does not hurt and the outer layer of skin is not torn off which sometimes happens with pulling. And those who think pulling it off quickly is best, ought to take a good look at the skin afterwards!

If you have a leak, digestive enzymes in the discharge will excoriate your damaged skin quicker and deeper than if your skin is in good condition or protected with some kind of skin preparation. The farther away your stoma is from the rectal area, the stronger the digestive enzymes are in the discharge leak. Therefore, your skin can become excoriated much sooner. Learn to treat skin very gently.

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Content last revised 1996-07-10