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.

You’ve just had a urostomy. As part of your surgery, a small opening (stoma) was made on your abdomen (belly). Taking good care of the skin around the stoma is very important to prevent skin problems. If a problem does occur, you need to know what to do. Listed below are some of the most common skin problems and steps you can take to manage them. If any of these problems lasts more than a week, call your ostomy nurse or other healthcare provider.

Common skin problems

Be on the look-out for these skin problems:

  • A leaking pouch can make the skin red, sore, and weepy. This may be caused by a pouch with an opening that is 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 avoid 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.