Clinimed are a company who supply ostomy bags and accessories and they sent me a goodie bag of products to try out, including medical adhesive remover in spray and wipe form, barrier creams, films and wipes and a carry bag.
I have to say that their carry bag is my favourite one so far, it is compact and has a hanger but the best bit is that it opens into a little shelf meaning when you are changing your bag out and about and inevitably there is no shelf or place to put your supplies, the bag solves that issue. It also has a little removable mirror which is brilliant because as you may have found, many accessible toilets don’t have a mirror… Perhaps they think people with extra needs don’t want to look at themselves??
Anyway, on to the products:
Firstly, I tried the Appeel medical adhesive remover. This sort of product is a really important part of your ostomy kit. When you are removing your bag without this, it pulls at the skin and can make it very sore, so it is something I use at every single bag change. I use the spray to remove my bag by applying the liquid from the spray can, the cans are small and easy to fit in your kit and a little pump of the can gives out a lot of the product.
I sprayed it on the flange of my ostomy bag and gave it a few seconds to get to work before peeling off my bag. It worked really well and left my skin feeling quite moisturised, some sprays I have used before felt drying to the skin. I then use the Appeel adhesive remover wipe if there are any residual stickiness around my stoma, this is particularly good for me as I am using a paste around my stoma and if that is still stuck to my skin, it can be tricky and painful to remove.
I also tried the LBF barrier range, this comes in a few different mediums which is good to have the choice as everyone has different preferences. There’s a barrier film spray, film wipe, foam applicator and a barrier cream that comes in a bottle or sachet. Barrier creams and films are used to create a protective layer between your skin and any ostomy output that could get on your skin.
The most important thing with ostomy care is looking after your skin. The output from your stoma is very acidic and can burn the skin, also the act of sticking and removing bags all the time can have a negative effect on the skin. If your skin gets open sores then it becomes wet, and ostomy bags don’t stick to wet skin, this can cause leaks which then makes the skin even more sore. It is a vicious circle that is miserable to get out of, and so barrier creams and films are essential.
After you remove your bag and have cleaned your skin, you apply the barrier in whichever form you have chosen, allow it to dry and then apply your ostomy bag.
I prefer the barrier film wipes, I find them really easy to use, and like that I can put it exactly where I need it and then dispose of the wipe in the bag with my used ostomy bag. The spray works just as well, but for me, I don’t like that it isn’t quite as direct, it sprays across a wider surface rather than dabbing it exactly where I want it with the wipes. But then I have friends who would much rather use a spray can, you should try both and see what your preference is.
The barrier cream, in my opinion, is great for people with a jpouch for the dreaded butt burn, it is a light cream that feels nice on the skin and creates a barrier from the delicate skin around your bottom and the acidic waste output that you are passing. I like it for skin around my stomach too where I have soreness but for around my stoma, it isn’t my favourite medium. This is because I feel that any cream has to it a certain greasiness and that concerns me with the bag then sticking over the top of that.
You use the cream sparingly and rub it in well, but I found myself waiting a long time to then apply my bag as I was worried that the cream would make the bag stick less well. For convenience sake, this is why I prefer the wipe.
The LBF barrier wipe dries in seconds, you clean your skin and then rub the wipe on your skin where it could come in contact with output. It is a sterile product and so you can use it on broken skin and is no sting which is great as when you have open sores, the last thing you want is to put something on that will feel like salt in a wound!
There are lots of different ostomy products about and it can be confusing to know which one will suit you. I also find that most people end up using the product that is first given to them by the hospital or stoma nurse, sometimes not knowing that they have options. Everyone has the freedom to choose what sort of supplies they would like to use and a way to do that is to request the free samples from companies.
If you would like to try any of these products, you can request free samples here or if you aren’t too sure what you’d like to try, you can speak to an advisor. You can also call them on 0800 036 0100. I’ve found the staff really friendly and helpful, so don’t worry about any ‘stupid questions’, there aren’t any stupid questions!!! There is tons of really useful information on the site, though if I am honest, it is a little clunky to find, but bear with it as I have just been reading up on more info on dehydration and found it very helpful!
So there we go, another ostomy review. I love having the opportunity to try new products, but remember that you can try things too. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with ostomy companies and ask for free samples of their products, there are so many different things out there and you have the ability to try them out. Your ostomy is here and you have to live with it, but you don’t need to be suffering. If you are having issues with your stoma, please speak to your stoma nurse and try different products till you find things that suit you.
Disclaimer: From time to time, I am either sent products for free to review or I am paid to review them. This sort of work pays for the running of this site and keeps me in Gin and sparkly shoes. I only work with companies who I feel are a good fit and who have products/events that I feel would benefit my lovely readers. Whether I receive free products, or I am paid, my reviews are honest and all my own opinion.