Ostomy barrier rings and seals are designed to prevent ostomy leaks and protect the stomal skin. They are placed underneath your ostomy wafer to fill in any gaps between your stoma and the wafer. The flexible material makes it easy to mold the seals around your stoma. The process of shaping the product up the length of your stoma is also known as "turtle necking". Doing so provides a more snug fit around your stoma. Barrier rings are circular in shape with a round hole already cut out of the center. These work best for individuals who have a uniform-shaped stoma. Barrier seals are solid sheets with no holes or cut outs. This allows you to cut whatever shape or size hole you need, making them ideal for people with an irregular-shaped stoma. You can also stretch and layer either of these products for the perfect fit.
Express Medical Supply also carries barrier strips. These are made from the same material as barrier rings and seals, but they are placed on top of your ostomy wafer around the edges to provide additional security. Barrier strips, also called barrier extenders, ensure that the outer edges of your ostomy wafer will not roll up away from the skin. Barrier strips work similarly to medical tape, but are more versatile. They are available in straight and curved shapes, as well as various widths to suit your needs.
A moldable ostomy wafer is an innovative product. It eliminates the need to use a separate barrier ring because it has the same flexible material already built into the flange. If you enjoy the benefits of using a barrier ring but don't like the extra steps involved, a moldable ostomy wafer is ideal. It cuts down on the amount of steps you have to take in order to change your pouch. This can be more convenient if you are in a public restroom or need to quickly change your pouch. Moldable ostomy wafers are available in pre-cut and cut-to-fit styles, although scissors are not required because you can simply roll the material back when applying your wafer.
Another helpful product for ostomates is stoma paste. This product serves the same purpose as barrier rings and seals, but is more of a caulk-like consistency that comes in a squeeze tube. It fills in any divots or folds in the skin near the stoma. Creating a flat surface reduces the risk of leaks, allows your barrier to adhere to your body better, and can even help your wafer wear for a longer period of time. Coloplast Brava makes a unique type of stoma paste that is in the form of pliable strips. The strip paste is more of a solid consistency, making it a bit less messy than traditional ostomy paste. Please see our ostomy blog for tips on how to apply stoma paste.
If the skin around your stoma is raw or weepy, it can be difficult to get your wafer to stick to your body. Stoma powder is designed to alleviate this problem. It is meant to absorb moisture from broken skin. When the powder comes into contact with moisture, it forms a gel. This improves barrier adhesion while also protecting the broken skin. Applying a thin layer of stoma powder will yield the best results. Keep in mind, baby powder or any other type of body powder is not a substitute for stoma powder. We carry several different ostomy powders from brands like Coloplast Brava and Hollister Adapt. Stoma powder is only meant to be used on weepy or raw skin. If your stomal skin is in healthy condition, stoma powder will not provide any benefit.
You can use a skin prep product in combination with stoma powder to perform the "crusting" technique. Adding skin prep on top locks the powder in place, increasing its effectiveness. After applying the powder, you simply dab the area with a skin prep wipe or spray a light layer of liquid skin prep to the affected area. Skin prep can also be used on its own without stoma powder to form a protective barrier around the stomal area. No matter how you use skin prep solutions, be sure to let the formula completely dry before applying your ostomy wafer.
When it comes time to change your ostomy pouch, removing the wafer can be difficult due to its strong adhesive. Applying an adhesive remover for skin during the process will make it much easier and more comfortable. This product gently breaks down the glue without causing irritation. Once the barrier is off of your body, you can apply additional adhesive remover to eliminate any residue that may be left behind. This will create a clean surface for your next barrier to adhere to, helping it stay secure and wear longer.