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Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

I was reading the post about swimming and was thinking about showering. My husband has only showered once since getting his ileostomy and he changed the bag right afterwards. He just washes with a washcloth, soap and water. Do you all take showers everyday, does the bag stay on with no problem. He's afraid that it will loosen up and come off or start to come off. Any comments will be appreciated.


Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

Showering is easier on the adhesive than swimming since it is not subjected to the water for a long period of time.

Here are a few things he can do to help keep things stuck:

1. Picture frame the flange with water proof tape. Ask at the drug store for something that is skin friendly.

2. When showering, don't stand facing the water, except to rinse off. This will give minimum water time to the flange.

3. When done with shower and dry off, take a blow dryer on the lowest and slowest setting and slowly dry the flange and tape.

4. If he is still uncertain, he can try taping a plastic bag over the whole appliance. I

This should help him feel more secure.

Hope this helps.

Marie who loves kitties

Semira's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: Mar 2012

After getting his ileostomy in Nov 2011 Thorsten was very skeptic and overcautious and it took him some time until he had the heart to shower or even bath. But both worked well and he got more confident and today he enjoys his baths as before. And no need to change the bag afterwards. He dries it up with his hair-dryer ;-)

Posts: 60
Joined: Oct 2011

I've had an ilistomy since September 2011 and shower every day without a problem. I change my bag twice a week (Wedensday and Sunday). I have no problem with the bad seal becoming lose from showering. Try it-- sounds much easier than the present situation. Good Luck.

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

I'd use the Press and Seal plastic wrap and then tape with vinyl like bandage tape to keep mine dry. That kept it dry and there was no need for the hair dryer. But I've done both and they worked. Looked forward to "change" days as that is when I'd not wear one in the shower and didn't have to worry about it getting wet, but also had to worry if "bella" got active. He will get used to it. Good luck.


Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

I had a colostomy for 8 months while going through chemo and then had take down surgery. Initially I had a 2 piece appliance- that I changed out everything 2-3 days a week, bag with the opening at the bottom for emptying. Specifically I don't remember issues in the shower with it? I did have leaking issues, very difficult to get a good seal (odor more than anything) and I personally struggled with ever feeling clean. The Mayo stoma nurse I worked with was WONDERFUL (if anything about my cancer experience, it was the wonderful nurses who genuinely cared and worked with me through every single issue) and they worked side by side with me to find a solution. Moved to a once piece appliance sometime early on, and that made me a believer! I changed the entire thing 1-3 times a day, insurance paid for 2 times daily changes. The bag was smaller- so there wasn't always this pull of weight on the seal. I would stand in the bathroom with a used plastic bag (the kind you bring home groceries in), peel off the entire thing, into the bag it would go and tied up the plastic bag, the whole thing would go to the garbage can. I would jump into the shower, without a bag on and clean the entire area with soap and water, along with washing my hair, shaving, etc. "look out she was bagless!!" I do remember being horrified at the nurse when she told me to do that! She said if the stoma was active during shower time, I would at least be in the best place for clean up! And in all the time I had it on? One time had a problem and even that was not a big of a deal.

I would then dry off and put on a brand new bag- this turned out to be the best part of my day- I felt so clean!

I would say to have him experiment with it, different tapes or plastic covering. Work with a nurse on the best appliance for him. The goal should be daily showers with little or no problems! If he has leakage problems, that's ok. Then he deals with them and figures out the solution.

All the best.

Posts: 1282
Joined: Apr 2012

Ask doc when take down might occur. That might cause other problems, but will eliminate bag. If you have bag for a while, it does get easier. My best of luck to him.

Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you all for your support and advice. We were talking about it last night and I told him about the hair drier and he seemed like he might try that one although he is still a little worried. We'll see what happens.


John23's picture
Posts: 2140
Joined: Jan 2007

Michele -

"I told him about the hair drier and he seemed like he might try
that one although he is still a little worried. "

Make sure you tell him not to use it -IN- the shower.

Seriously now...

The adhesives are designed to adhere to clean, dry skin, and
at the average body temperature.

All it takes to remove the adhesive when changing the appliance,
is hot water (water hotter than skin temperature). (you should
never use any "adhesive remover" or "skin prep").

However..... the appliance's adhesives are designed (formulated)
to keep liquid inside. That seal works to keep liquids in and - to
keep liquids out. The erosion of the seal happens when either
the acidic waste manages to get under the adhesive, or hotter
than normal temperatures exist at the peristomal area.

Using a hair dryer isn't the best idea, since the manufacturers
formulate their adhesives to remain adhered to the skin at "normal
body temperature". Most all manufacturers instruct users to
use only "hot water" to remove the appliance. It's the hotter
than body temperature heat (and moisture) that will deteriorate
the adhesive quickly.

The two-piece appliances are all designed to remain intact for
at least a week at a time (I used to get 2-3 weeks out of a
wafer). Leaving it on longer is best for the skin, since each time
the appliance is removed, it takes some skin with it.

So showering shouldn't be a problem, unless he's a hot water
freak like me, and likes near scalding temperatures.

I (like others here) used a plastic baggie to cover the appliance
(cut a hole on one side of the bag and stuff the pouch through it).

I had the same fear of ruining the adhesive! But theoretically,
external water shouldn't erode the adhesive in normal conditions.

You can get info at the UOAA forum, and also get the usual
amount of right/wrong answers!
(I don't post there, so there will be one less wrong answer)

Tell him to shower away, but personally, I would forget about
using that hair dryer!

Best of health!!


Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

Thanks John, I guess we'll have to rethink the hairdryer.

Thanks again,


dmj101's picture
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2011

I do the hair dryer and have never had any issue with the seal.
I do however apply a new bag and if you are using the drainable one the seal a the bottom never seems to be strong after getting wet.
but if using closed pouch.. just change the pouch

joemetz's picture
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I've had my colostomy bag since mid-december 2011.

I felt the same way about showering, and would only shower a couple times a week... instead of daily. I'll wash up my body and hair at the sink and keep plenty of "smell nice" stuff around.

I've begun showering more and also use the hair dryer idea to dry up after the shower.

I've had some problems here and there with the bag leaking... actually, only 3 issues over 4 months.... so that's not too bad.

shower away~

TMac52's picture
Posts: 358
Joined: Aug 2010

I shower 2 days with the bag on and after shower change the bag. On every third day I remove the flange and shower my naked stoma. I change the flange and feel clean again.
This has become my routine and I never have leaks or smell. It took awhile to come up with a system that I feel comfortable with and this is it. on occasion I will use a hairdryer on cool to dry the tape on the flange before getting dressed, no harm in that.
I have had my bag since Sept. 2010 It takes quite sometime to find your routine but you will..

Oh and BTW I use Convatec moldable flanges (w/ adhesive coupling) and Coloplast drainable bags. this is my own system that seems to work for me.

Good luck...now go take a shower WWHHHEEEEW..


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