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Tips on Bathing and Showering With a Stoma

Tips on Bathing and Showering With a Stoma

After my Radical Cystectomy, I was unsure whether I should bathe or shower, with or without my “bag” on. The truth is, you can do either once you have had the ‘ok’ from your Consultant or Stoma nurse — whatever you feel the most comfortable doing!

Please do ensure, however, that you do you get the ‘ok’ from your Doctor or Stoma nurse!

The first few weeks

Initially, and until you feel more comfortable with your stoma and bag, you may chose to shower or bathe with your “bag” on.

Personally I find nothing more liberating than getting in the shower without my “bag” on. It gives me the opportunity to really cleanse the area around my stoma and gives my skin a nice airing. Nothing nicer, in my opinion than feeling that nice clean, warm, water hit my skin.

Things you should know 

Please note that for water sourced from wells, or water that is from an unclean source, it is recommended to keep your “bag” on to avoid infection. I recommend using a non-perfumed, non-moisturizing shower gel.

Be prepared for your stoma to have a little pee whilst in the shower. This is perfectly normal and to be honest, there is little you can do to stop it. Showering in a morning before eating or drinking can help manage a lesser flow.

I then dry myself off in the shower rather than out. This is so if my little darling stoma does decide to have a pee as I am drying myself, I have the shower head on hand to rinse off any urine.

I keep a small freshly laundered face flannel on hand in the bathroom. After drying off, I pick up the face flannel, fold it a couple of times and hold over my stoma. This will absorb any leakage that might occur whilst you are preparing to put on your nice fresh “bag”. It’s also reusable after a hot or boil wash, so it saves on dry wipes and therefore saves on cost, and is ethically a good thing to do.

5 things you should know if you are bathing without your “bag”

However, there are a few things to be mindful of if having a bath without your “bag”.

  1. Don’t have the water too hot
  2. Don’t use any heavily scented bubble baths or bath bombs
  3. Don’t use anything with glitter as some well known brands do contain a glittery solution and you don’t want that getting into your stoma
  4. Don’t use any oily bubble baths or bath bombs as these will make your skin oily and greasy and may cause your bag not to adhere properly
  5. Don’t use bath salts
  6. Finally, stay in as long as you like, relax and enjoy!

Be mindful that if you are bathing with your “bag” on and are in for a long time, it may cause your “bag” to loosen. So perhaps consider bathing when it’s “bag” change day.

Lastly if you have decided to bathe/shower with your “bag” on, you may find that your “bag” remains wet or damp, even after a good patting down.

Drying off your “bag”

  1. A helpful tip for this is to use your hairdryer on a low heat setting and dry for a minute or two. Your “bag” should then be nice and dry and ready for you to dress as normal, leaving you to get on enjoying your daily life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.