Any type of ostomy injury is a constant concern for ostomates, especially those who participate in sports and activities. Injury is a difficult subject to discuss, but confronting the facts can help you avoid injuries and maintain a high quality of life.
Stoma injuries can occur as a result of improper pouching, pouching accidents, tight belts, or blunt external force (getting hit with something). The wound may bleed a little and seem white or red. In most cases, if you’re having this problem, you already know what’s causing it – but if you don’t, be sure to figure out what’s causing it so you can fix it before it becomes a long-term issue.
Tips For Avoiding And Managing Stoma Injuries
Combat sports (such as martial arts, karate, wrestling) and other activities with a lot of friction and impact should be avoided since they put the stoma or the skin surrounding it at danger of harm.
Some ostomates can safely still enjoy weight lifting and aerobics, but they should be discussed with your doctor if you’ve recently had surgery so you’re aware of any limitations (physical or while healing) and can be sure you won’t injure yourself.
Check to Make Sure You’re Using Your Ostomy Pouch System Correctly
When you use your appliance incorrectly, you run the danger of getting hurt. Ask an ostomy nurse for help if you have questions about how to use your ostomy supplies or a new product so you can get the most out of it and avoid hurting yourself!
Try Vera SA Ostomy Underwear
Vera SA Ostomy Underwear can protect both your stoma and the appliance. Our men’s and ladies’ underwear boast a hidden stoma pouch that prevents rubbing, irritation, or inflammation, and reduces the possibility of detachment or leaks, keeping you feeling carefree all day.
Keep Your Stoma Area Clean
If you’ve had an injury, keep the stoma and the surrounding region clean. Irrigate the region with saline solution (which you may buy or prepare yourself) and ostomy cleaning items.
Skin-protecting creams and treatments are also available to prevent stoma output and mucus from compromising the skin or the location of an injury or irritation.
Taking the effort to maintain cleanliness and using the correct items will make you feel better, eliminate odour, and prevent infections and irritations.
Did You Know?
- It is safe to bath, shower or swim with your stoma bag on. However, keep in mind that the adhesive is designed to actually stick more tightly when exposed to water, so it may be better to change your bag before you bathe or shower.
- Baby wipes are not recommended for cleaning your stoma because they leave a film on the skin that’s not always obvious, but it may mean that the stoma appliance doesn’t adhere as well.
- Many people with ostomies find it more comfortable sleeping on their back and sides rather than their stomachs.
Signs And Symptoms To Watch Out For
- A bulge in the skin around your stoma.
- Skin colour changes from normal pink or red to pale, bluish purple, or black.
- A rash around the stoma that is red, or red with bumps – this may be due to a skin infection or sensitivity, or even leakage.
Speak To A Professional
While most injuries heal on their own, if anomalies and discomfort from a stoma are causing you pain and suffering, you should consult a doctor.
Vera SA is a proud partner of CANSA and The South African Society of Ostomates.
READ MORE BLOGS BY VERA SA: