More than 1 million Americans have a stoma, and it has been estimated by the United Ostomy Association of America that 130,000 ostomy surgeries are performed every year in the United States. Unfortunately, up to 80% of people with a stoma experience peristomal skin problems. Prevention, early identification and proper care for peristomal skin complications are critical for individuals with a stoma.
Stomas can be either temporary or permanent. A stoma is formed during a surgical procedure (ostomy) to divert the flow of urine or feces outside the body for collection in a stoma appliance or ostomy pouch system that consists of a baseplate, washer with flanges and a pouch for collecting effluent. There are 3 main types of stoma: the colostomy, the ileostomy and the urostomy. The reasons for ostomies include cancer involving the colon rectum or bladder, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, congenital malformations and diverticular disease.
Several studies suggest that stoma complications within the first 2 to 3 weeks following surgery are common. 85% of individuals with a stoma experience stoma leakage. A pouch system that fits well immediately following surgery may not fit well several weeks later. Selection of ostomy equipment that is appropriate for the type of stoma, volume and consistency of the effluent as well as self-care skill level of the individual with a stoma is critical. Proper use of the stoma appliance including proper pouch application, timely emptying and pouch changing all contribute to helping prevent skin problems.
Keeping peristomal skin protected and clean, and the selection of proper skincare products is also critical for preventing peristomal skin problems. It’s important not to use skincare products that are oily or greasy on peristomal skin due to the affects these products can have on the adhesion of stoma equipment. Evidence shows that many individuals have good skin outcomes using a light coating of a zinc oxide-containing topical. Viniferamine® SkinMineralZ can help prevent inflammation and moisture-associated skin damage including maceration. Zinc oxide and medicinal clays found in SkinMineralZ absorb moisture and toxins to help keep the skin dry and protected, also reducing the potential for abnormal microbial growth of yeasts such as Candida albicans.
Viniferamine® Clean N Moist can protect, nourish and clean peristomal skin. Clean N Moist is a non-oily (or greasy) cleansing lotion that is perfectly pH blanced to ensure that even the most fragile skin is gently cleansed without causing irritation. The use of phospholipids, organic phytonutrients, organic shea butter, and other vital nutrients provide nourishment to help strengthen skin. In addition, Clean N Moist can be used to remove SkinMineralZ.
Individuals with a stoma typically have difficulty recognizing peristomal skin problems and frequently under-report peristomal skin complications to healthcare professionals. Peristomal skin complications include mechanical injuries such as skin stripping caused by adhesives, contact dermatitis, allergic dermatitis, folliculitis, fungal rash (commonly caused by yeast), and maceration. Irritant contact dermatitis and moisture-associated skin damage are the most common peristomal skin problems. Peristomal contact dermatitis typically results from stool or urine that leaks from the stoma, irritates the skin and causes inflammation.
Prevention of dermatitis is a primary focus in the days and weeks following ostomy surgery. Allergic dermatitis is less common and can involve allergies or sensitivities to the stoma appliance, to fragranced stoma bag deodorizers, and to topical products that include potential sensitizers such as lanolin. Patch testing can identify the offending agent. Fungal dermatitis is common in hot, moist environments and with people who are immunocompromised. Any degree of dermatitis will inhibit pouch adhesion leading to more leakage and skin inflammation.
Viniferamine® skin and wound care products contain potent small molecule anti-inflammatory ingredients including the beneficial polyphenols oleuropein, resveratrol, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from olives, grapes, and green tea, respectively, as well as the important small molecules, melatonin, and L-glutathione. In addition, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate from licorice, aventhramides in oats, aloe vera and shea butter have also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activities. Viniferamine® skin and wound care products also contain small molecule ingredients that strengthen skin including antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids. Viniferamine® skincare products are non-irritating, non-sensitizing and do not include artificial fragrances.
Besides using Viniferamine® skincare products to strengthen and protect skin, there are other steps that can be taken to reduce peristomal skin issues. Changing from a single-component ostomy appliance to a 2-component system can decrease the frequencing of changing the baseplate adherent. Avoiding shaving cream and shaving the peristomal area with a straight edge razor is helpful. Trimming hair with scissors if possible is a good idea, as well as avoiding wipes or towlettes that may contain oils or irritants, and avoiding adhesive removers. Eating healthy foods and exercising is important, as well as avoiding cigarettes. Obesity and smoking have been associated with increased peristomal skin issues. It’s also important to have a healthcare professional examine the peristomal skin regularly and check the fitting of the stoma appliance.
It’s good to know that Viniferamine® skin and wound care products were designed to strengthen, protect and nourish fragile skin. Viniferamine® SkinMineralZ and Clean N Moist help protect peristomal skin from moisture and irritant damage, as well as help decrease inflammation involved with dermatitis that typically results from stoma effluent and skin sensitivities.
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