Showering and bathing with an ostomy should not interfere with your regular cleaning routine. With the right information and products, bathing can still be a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
You can bathe or shower with or without wearing your pouching system. Normal exposure to air or water will not harm or enter your stoma.1
If you're showering without your pouch, remove the skin barrier too. Try to create a routine that coincides with when you're due for a pouch change. Once out of the bath/shower, your skin should be completely dry before applying a new skin barrier and pouch.
If you're showering with your pouch system, check your pouch seal. Before getting in the bath or shower, make sure your seal is secure. It is recommended to wear the entire pouching system (skin barrier and pouch). Wearing only the skin barrier may decrease wear time.
Use all-natural products. If you shower with your pouch off, make sure you use a soap that is oil and residue-free. Shower gels, bath foams, and some moisturizing lotions will be hard to rinse off, making it difficult for your pouching system to adhere.
Listen to your body. If possible, select a time when your stoma is less active.
Using a filtered pouch? Place a filter cover sticker over the filter opening before bathing.
DRYING TIP: Try using a hair dryer on the lowest-coolest setting to help dry off your pouching system. Do not use direct, high-heat as it could effect wear time or irritate your skin. You can also always gently pat-dry with a towel.
1. Goldberg, M. Patient Education Following Urinary/Fecal Diversion. In: Carmel J. Colwell J, Goldberg, M, eds. Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Core Curriculum Ostomy Management. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer; 2016: 131-139.