Things You Should Know About Showering/Bathing With an Ostomy

You can shower either with your ostomy appliance or with no appliance at all. These are some of the things you should know if you’re learning more about how to shower or bathe with your ostomy appliance.


1. Bag On: Just Shower!

Your ostomy pouching system is made to be able to get wet without any issues! Just make sure you aren’t due for a bag change before you get into the water with the appliance (if it is time for a bag change before you shower, stay tuned!) Special Note: You shouldn’t worry about keeping the appliance dry. It’s cumbersome, difficult to do, and your sweat is going to make the appliance wet anyways. You’ll want to rinse out the adhesive if you’re wearing it for multiple days regardless!

2. Bag On: Still Worried? Here are a few things that can help

Avoid oil-based soap products that may act as adhesive remover. The soap I recommend is: CETAPHIL (but there are many out there!) Wear a Stealth Belt while you shower - it can help hold the appliance in place while it’s wet, and the bonus is that you’ll be washing your Stealth Belt while you do it! Barrier Extenders can also be helpful if you find that the edges of your ostomy appliance tend to come up while showering or in the water. Have your backup supplies nearby the shower so if something should happen where you need to change your appliance, it is readily available for you


3. Bag On: Drying The Appliance

While the appliances are made to get wet, they are at their most vulnerable to shift while wet, so it's important to make sure you dry out the appliance after leaving the water. Pat your appliance dry with your towel as you dry off the rest of your body. Blow Dryer - If you are using a blow dryer, make sure to use the lowest heat setting option. Ostomy appliance adhesives are heat activated, and too much heat from a blow dryer can melt the adhesive or reduce the efficacy of your ostomy appliance.

Use a dry Stealth Belt to help hold the appliance in place while it dries, and help the appliance dry faster! Stealth Belts are made of a moisture wicking material which will help pull the moisture from the adhesive and dry it quicker than on its own! Button: See more Leak prevention tips

4. Bag Off: No Bag? No Worries!

Showering with no bag is completely safe. The Stoma itself will not be harmed by exposure to water. Another benefit to showering with no appliance on is that it allows you to really deep-clean the skin and remove old adhesive residue build-up and cleanse the pores of your skin. It can help you manage your skin health!


5. Bag Off: What To Know

Strongly recommended to use hypoallergenic soaps

  • For one, if you use soaps with scents or oils, it could affect the wear time of the adhesive of your next appliance.
  • The skin immediately surrounding the stoma is sensitive, and more prone to issues with additives in traditional soaps.

Timing your output can be important to showering with no appliance on. Take note of when your meals are and how long it takes afterwards for your stoma to produce output from those meals. Once you are able to estimate your output, you should be able to plan for a shower and bag-change without the stoma being too active in the shower Consider using a ‘hair catcher’ or some other type of drain filter to catch output that is not fully chewed to avoid clogging your shower. The rest of your output can go straight down the drain… it all goes to the same place! :)

6. Bag Change While Showering

Prepare your replacement bag ahead of time, to minimize the time between the shower and putting on a new bag. If you have a stoma that is difficult to predict, consider checking out StomaGeinics, which is a company that makes a waste collection product for bag changes (that also helps for skin irritation by letting the skin breathe for longer)! Make sure you have a clean Stealth Belt for after you’ve placed your new appliance on. The pressure from the bottom layer of the Stealth Belt will help the adhesive bind with the skin faster and extend the weartime of the appliance.

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