Bathe With an Ostomy-The Easy Way
When you talk about bathing with an ostomy I see it as two choices. Choice one is considered the easy way to bathe with an ostomy.
This choice the details would be-you are naked when you get in the shower or the bathtub with your ostomy pouch and wafer fully intact. Shower as a normal human would.
You wouldn’t be covering it up with a baggie, or any cover. You would be bathing like it wasn’t even there. You can get it all wet and wash it with soap shampoo etc without the fear of it being dislodged in the bathtub or your shower.
The Second Choice That I Offer
As your second choice, you may become deeply involved in removing your bag (ostomy pouch). This would be bagging up your pouch for disposal, actually disposing of it properly, and then cleaning your stoma up.
Then you are hoping that you don’t experience any releasing (going to the bathroom) while it is totally open to air and water. That could get kind of messy.
It is perfectly fine and safe to expose your stoma to submersion in a bath or to have it hit with flowing water in the shower.
Nothing will get inside of you by doing the bathing or showering without an ostomy pouch attached to you.
Then after your shower or bath is over you will need to get completely dried off.
Then all of your supplies will need to be used to get yourself back to where you need to be for your normal living routines.
Bathing Preparations for the Two Choices
Preparations for Choice #1
You will need a towel to dry off with and I usually use a hair dryer to dry very carefully all of the area around my stoma where the wafer is applied.
I also sometimes need a second smaller towel to hand dry the ostomy pouch. I squeeze it and rub it with a cloth towel to make sure the pouch is dry before I pull my underwear and pants over it.
Preparations for Choice #2
The preparations for choice 2 are much more involved. Here is a list to cover this.
- You will need two towels-one for drying yourself off and one to help with cleaning up the extra water on the floor. This would be because you experience a sudden leaking and you need to get out of the water quickly.
- You will need a roll of paper towels to clean up an unexpected leak
- You have to gather up one wafer, and one ostomy pouch to be used
- A Medline Wipe Protectant Skin Sureprep-to treat the area around the stoma before adhering the wafer to your skin
- A plastic bag to put soiled paper towels in to properly dispose of and remove from the bathroom
- A hair dryer to dry the area thoroughly before you apply the new ostomy wafer and pouch set
So it is easy to see that just in the preparation area that one choice is much easier than doing the other choice.
If You Need A Reason To Pick Choice 2
From the onset, it definitely is much easier to pick choice one. Just get in the tub or the shower. That is actually what I always do.
In fact, I will be very honest with you. I just will not do choice two because of all of the extra effort it takes to do the second choice.
So I would need a good reason why I would pick choice #2. After nearly 5 years of this living, I can see that I will be working towards choice two because my skin needs it.
The stoma is usually only open to air and water etc only an average of fewer than 30 minutes every week. It would do me some good to expose it to the elements. HaHa?
Most Important Benefit of Open Air Exposure
I seriously do see benefits to you to get your skin out there and put it into normally natural human situations. Skin does belong in the open air and with open exposure happening to it.
It is totally unnatural to have that part of my body covered up with a wafer and a pouch for the rest of my life. You have to figure out for yourself if it is worth the extra effort to be so inclined to perform choice #2.
Here is a collage of what you see normally when looking at an always-covered-up stoma. Does yours look like this then get Healthy? Uncover and bask in the sunlight and open air
I am committing to having healthier skin around my stoma. As you can see the area close to a stoma is indeed very different looking. Any picture I have ever seen of stomas, plus seeing my own all the time, is real.
You will notice that there is a purple pale color that is close to the stoma center.
It just looks unhealthy. So get healthier than you have been.
Helping You Maintain Your Stomas’ Good Health
So good health is something you wish to properly maintain. If so then you need to constantly be monitoring the health of your stoma and its relationship with your skin and your body in general.
Here are some preparations that I have used and that you too may be interested in purchasing to help you maintain your stomas’ health integrity.
Medline MSC1528H Sureprep No-Sting Skin Protectant, 28 mmMEDLINE MSC1500Z Sureprep Skin Protectant Wipe (50 pack)Medline Skin integrity Wound Cleansers, 16 fl oz.
Read More About the Mindset of an Ostomy Owner-View Related Posts Below
Can I use a hot tub with an ostomy is an in-depth look at a question many new ostomy owners are seeking an answer to.
Showering & bathing with an ostomy is an unknown area that an ostomy owner needs to get answers about. I detail my experiences showering and bathing with my ostomy
George writes from first-hand experience about having a stoma and living with an ostomy. As a former cancer patient and a survivor of colon cancer, you can draw from his experiences. His goal is to help you as he shares the realities of living with an ostomy.