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Urostomy: Managing Skin Problems

Female abdomen showing hands holding measuring guide to stoma.
If your pouch leaks, use a measuring guide to check that the pouch opening is the correct size.

If your pouch leaks, use a measuring guide to check that the pouch opening is the correct size.

You’ve just had a urostomy. As part of your surgery, a small opening (stoma) was made on your belly. Taking good care of the skin around the stoma is very important. This can help prevent skin problems. So can using a correctly fitted pouching system. And drinking enough fluids.

If a problem does occur, you need to know what to do. Listed below are some of the most common skin problems and how to manage them. Call your ostomy nurse or other healthcare provider if any of these problems lasts more than a week. Also call if the symptoms get worse.

Common skin problems

Be on the look-out for these skin problems:

  • A leaking pouch can make the skin red, sore, and wet (weepy). This may be caused by a pouch with an opening that's too big or too small. Use a measuring guide to check that the opening on the pouch is the right size.

  • Allergies to skin barriers can make the skin itch, burn, or sting. You may need to try a new skin barrier or change to a new kind of pouch.

  • Yeast infections can make the skin red and itchy. These infections are more likely if there’s sweat on the skin under the pouch. A pouch cover can help keep the skin beyond the skin barrier dry. You may need to ask your ostomy nurse or other healthcare provider about using antifungal products.

  • Urine pooling on the skin can make the skin sore. To prevent this, make sure your pouch fits well. Dry your skin thoroughly before you put on a new pouch.

  • Hair under the pouch can make the skin inflamed. To prevent this, shave off any hair around the stoma with an electric razor. Always shave away from the stoma.

  • Urine can crystallize and form patches of dried urine on the stoma. To prevent this, put a washcloth soaked in equal parts vinegar and water on your stoma for a few minutes. Do this each time you change your pouch.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Marc Greenstein MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2021
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