Medical adhesives are skin safe adhesive compounds that are used to attach medical appliances like ostomy wafers and flanges
and/or external condom catheters
to the body. Medical adhesives are also used in surgical applications. There are adhesives that contain natural latex such as Perma-Type surgical cement
as well as silicone adhesives such as Urocare's Uro-Bond
. Medical adhesives are intended to be used on skin and are designed to be skin friendly.
Medical adhesive removers are designed to help remove and dissolve adhesives from wound care bandages
, medical tapes
, ostomy systems
, external condom catheters
, or other medical device. Medical adhesive remover helps to remove the adhesive from your skin without scrubbing or abrasion. Medical adhesives are sticky. Seems obvious but they are extremely sticky which is great when you need your ostomy appliance to stay in place but it isn't so great when you need to change your ostomy appliance. Yanking on an ostomy wafer to remove it is never a good idea. Medical adhesive remover is a solvent that works to dissolve the sticky adhesive so your skin doesn't suffer from shear or inflammation that occurs from improperly removed medical devices.
Is medical adhesive bad for skin? No, in general, medical adhesive is not bad for skin. However, every person is different and people react differently to medical adhesive. Before surrounding your stoma in medical adhesive and slapping on a wafer, you should do a skin test. A skin test is when you apply a small amount of medical adhesive to your skin to see how your skin tolerates the adhesive. If your skin doesn't show a negative reaction to the adhesive, then use it for your ostomy application. The first time you use the adhesive you will want to watch out for irritation or an outright allergy to the adhesive. Carefully read the list of contact dermatitis symptoms, which is just a more official way of sayings, "my skin didn't like that adhesive at all" symptoms.
Contact Dermatitis Symptoms:
- Burning, stinging, soreness, redness generally just under the adhesive, no bumps or blister present. Less likely to cause itching.
- Itching, burning, stinging, soreness, redness spreads beyond the adhesive area, can have bumps or even blisters.
Both irritant and allergic reactions to medical adhesive should be treated right away. You will want to remove the adhesive from the skin with a sting-free medical adhesive remover or a mild soap and water. If possible, leave the irritated skin uncovered to allow it to heal. If you have to cover the skin right away, use a skin prep
to protect the skin from further exposure to adhesive or irritants. As soon as possible after you notice any of the contact dermatitis symptoms, you should call your doctor. Tell your doctor which adhesive you were using and for how long. Let them know how your skin looks and find out if you should seek medical attention.
Yes, you can use a medical adhesive to secure your ostomy device. Most of the medical adhesives are applied with a brush that is included in the jar of adhesive. Application is simple, just brush onto the back of the ostomy wafer
and then apply the ostomy wafer to your abdomen like normal. Press and hold the ostomy wafer against your abdomen to give the medical adhesive a chance to adhere completely. It can take around a minute or so before the adhesion is complete. Be careful when you apply the ostomy wafer and flange, the adhesive sets pretty quickly so you won't have tons of time to make adjustments. Using a medical adhesive can help give you peace of mind since it does increase the staying power of your ostomy appliance. It is very important that you check your skin often when you are using extra adhesive. Remember, even if your ostomy wafer is staying in place, after 3 days, you need to remove the wafer in order to fully inspect the skin and stoma. Be aware of any of the contact dermatitis symptoms as well as any burning associated with stomal output coming into contact with your skin behind the wafer. Remember, not all leaks are visible at first. Pushing a wafer to last longer isn't worth damaging your skin.
Do You Have to Use an Adhesive Remover to Take off Your Ostomy Pouch?
Do you have to use an adhesive remover
to remove your ostomy pouch? No. You don't have to use an adhesive remover. Should you use an adhesive remover? Yes! An adhesive remover helps to gently remove the ostomy appliance by dissolving the medical adhesive solvents. When you dissolve the adhesive the ostomy appliance comes off of your skin easily with minimal tugging and pulling. Your skin is made of layers and when you forcibly remove something glued to your skin then those layers are compromised and can become irritated. Medical adhesive remover is a simple way that you can be kind to your skin. I would recommend an alcohol free adhesive remover because they tend to be gentler on your skin and won't sting broken or irritated skin.
Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions regarding using medical adhesive or medical adhesive removers. Your personal medical team know what is best for you as an individual.