Peristomal skincare – is it time to do better for our patients?

Date: 29 September 2021

Peristomal skincare – is it time to do better for our patients?
One in 500 people in the UK live with a stoma. Up to 85% of ostomates have experienced common problems such as skin irritation, blockage, leakage, and difficulty attaching and removing appliances, but many do not seek professional help1. One study identified that approximately one third of patients with a stoma who were followed up over a 5-year study period had evidence of skin complications within 90 days of surgery2. This, in turn, leads to increased healthcare costs, increased product use, wastage and unnecessary referrals to specialist stoma services.

Peristomal skin complications vary, with the most common types including peristomal moisture-associated skin damage (MASD), irritant dermatitis, hypersensitivity and allergic responses of the skin, and mechanical damage related to the use of medical adhesives in various pouching systems (MARSI)3. 

The skin is the largest organ in the body and performs vital functions to keep the body safe from external forces; Peristomal skin is vulnerable due to regular removal and application of ostomy adhesive pouches and leakage of faecal or urinary fluid4once the skin integrity is broken, it causes pain, risk of infection and reduced quality of life. Preventing moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) must be at the forefront of stoma care management.

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