Four Easy Steps to Healthy Skin Around Your Stoma

21 June 2024

Skin Care Tips for People with Laryngectomy Using Adhesives.

Man looking in the mirror at this stoma whilst putting on an adhesive.

Peristomal skincare is vital for keeping the skin around your stoma healthy. Factors like dry air, mucus and adhesives can all cause irritation. Specifically, the incorrect daily application and removal of adhesives can damage the skin and lead to discomfort and problems with the adhesive sticking to the skin. The umbrella term for adhesive related skin injuries is Medical Adhesive Related Skin Injuries, or MARSI. We’ve put together four tips to help you care for the skin around your stoma, reducing the risk of irritation and MARSI, and increasing your overall comfort.

The information provided here is a general guide to neck stoma care. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if your skin is showing signs of irritation, infection or if you have any discomfort. This content has been adapted from the whitepaper “Healthy peristomal skin: a foundation for successful voice and pulmonary rehabilitation”, which serves as the original source for this blog.

What is an adhesive?

An adhesive or baseplate is the flexible plastic patch with a sticky backing that is attached around your stoma. The adhesive provides a stable surface and mounting point to attach Heat and Moisture Exchangers (HMEs) which are used to heat and humidify inhaled air. Adhesives are available in different sizes, shapes and with different types of adhesive formulations depending on your individual needs.

What causes irritation?

Irritation can be caused by a variety of different factors. With adhesives in particular, the removal of the adhesive also removes a small amount of skin cells, even in those with healthy skin.

When the adhesive to skin bond is stronger than the bond between skin layers, the adhesive can pull the top layers of skin (epidermis) from each other or pull the epidermis away from the layers of skin underneath (dermis).

Irritation can also be caused by leaving the adhesive on for too long and not allowing the skin to breathe. Mucus or other secretions from the stoma can also find their way in the small spaces between an incorrectly applied adhesive and the skin. Not only can this irritate the surrounding skin, it can also cause air leaks. Establish a change routine that optimizes a secure seal for the duration of a full day, allowing for scheduled changes at a convenient and hygienic time of day.

How can I minimize skin irritation while applying and removing my adhesives?

We’ve put together this 4-step guide to applying and removing your adhesive. Each step is of equal importance.

  • Apply the adhesive
    Gently warm the adhesive using your hands. Remove the protective backing and line up the opening of the adhesive to the opening of your stoma. Keep your head and neck in a relaxed position. Do not pull or stretch the adhesive. Massage the adhesive into place by applying gentle pressure outwards from the stoma. Allow the adhesive to bond using your body’s natural warmth for 15 minutes, or if possible longer, before speaking.
  • Clean the area around the stoma
    Thoroughly clean the area around your stoma with soap and water, a Provox Cleaning Towel or both. Do not use soaps that contain moisturizers or perfumes. Trim or shave hair around the area of application if needed. Ensure the skin is free of mucus, adhesive removers and creams. Be careful while cleaning and avoid getting any water or debris in the stoma. After cleaning, let the skin dry completely.
  • Prepare the area for adhesive
    Apply a skin protectant like Provox Skin Barrier. If you need a strong attachment, you could apply Provox Silicone Glue (do not use on sensitive or damaged skin). Do not use a skin barrier, silicone glue or skin creams when applying a Provox Life Night Adhesive or Provox Luna Adhesive.
  • Remove the adhesive
    On the edge of the adhesive will be a small fingerlift tab. Start at the fingerlift tab and, at a low angle, remove the adhesive slowly and gently, supporting the skin as you peel. For Standard and Stability Adhesive, first apply Provox Adhesive Remover on top of the adhesive. Then lift the fingerlift tab carefully and add more underneath the adhesive. Remove the Night Adhesive by using a wet cloth. Make sure no water drips into your stoma.

By following these four steps, you can minimize skin irritation and increase your comfort. Provox Life Adhesives and accessories have been created to make caring for and living with your stoma as comfortable and as easy as possible.

You can view the complete selection of Provox Adhesives here.

Reference: Atos Medical, Whitepaper: Healthy peristomal skin: a foundation for successful voice and pulmonary rehabilitation, 2023

Always read the Instructions for use before starting to use any of the products. For Instructions for use.