learn how to keep the skin around your ostomy healthy

Guide to healthy skin

Apply. Remove. Check. By following this procedure correctly, you will be able to keep the skin around your ostomy healthy most of the time.

Maintaining healthy skin is more than simply checking if you are applying and removing your ostomy pouching system correctly and with the right frequency. The length of time between changes will vary for each individual.

Using the following 'Apply Remove Check' process described here will help ensure you are in the right routine.


  • Make sure the skin is clean and dry before applying.
  • The barrier should fit snugly around your ostomy.
  • Accessories, such as rings or a paste, can help you achieve a good seal around the stoma.
  • Ensure that the barrier has made full contact with the skin by applying gentle pressure to the barrier during application – begin in the area closest to the stoma, and then move outwards towards the edges.


  • Protect the skin around your stoma by gently removing the ostomy barrier
  • Pull down on the removal tab to loosen the barrier from the skin
  • Gently push down on the skin as you pull down on the barrier going side to side to gently release the adhesive from the skin
  • This is called the push-pull technique

Observe or Check

  • Observe the skin underneath the barrier
  • If necessary, use a mirror to check your skin
  • Check the back of the barrier
  • If you see one or more of the following signs, it may be because you need to change your barrier more often:
    • Erosion of the barrier
    • Leakage on the barrier or your skin
    • Irritated, broken or red skin
ARC Guide. Skin irritation.

Experiencing skin irritation?

If you see any changes in the appearance or color of the skin around your stoma (compared to the skin on the rest of your stomach), consider comparing photos or notes from your pouch changes.

Information from Coloplast Care is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice and should not be interpreted to contain treatment recommendations.

You should rely on the healthcare professional who knows your individual history for personal medical advice and diagnosis.

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