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Ostomy paste is a protective substance that is used on the skin surrounding a stoma. It acts as a barrier to prevent chafing and irritation when digestive juices and stomach acid finds its way out of the stoma opening. There are various brands, but they are typically thick in texture so they adhere to the skin more easily to create a longer lasting barrier.
Most ostomy paste comes in small tubes, much like that of toothpaste or diaper rash creams. They are thin and contain skin protectants to keep moisture away from skin. Some types contain ingredients like pectin and most contain some form of alcohol. This can cause stinging in some patients, so ostomy paste should be applied with care.
The use of ostomy paste is very important for many patients, since occasionally stomach acids and waste materials may escape and irritate the skin. This becomes more likely when the pouch becomes too full and begins to leak. Patients can help prevent contact of waste and acid by changing their pouches regularly and doing so carefully so spills occur. A doctor or nurse can give instructions on properly emptying the stoma pouch.
Ostomy paste may also be used to smooth the skin and help stoma covers and pouches lay down more evenly. This keeps them from being as noticeable underneath clothing and creates less embarrassment for patients. The paste should be applied directly surrounding the area where the tube is attached to the stoma.
Ostomy supplies should be changed regularly, so it is a good idea to purchase an ostomy paste that wipes away clean without leaving a residue. This allows the adhesive used to attach tubes and other supplies to work more effectively. Pastes that do leave a residue may have to be removed by scrubbing with soap and water.
Patients can buy ostomy paste in many professional pharmacies and medical supply stores; it is sold alongside other ostomy supplies. Brands may create pastes specifically to go well with their supplies, although it is generally not harmful to mix one paste variety with supplies from another brand. It is not advised that patients use paste or creams that are not intended for use around a stoma without first discussing it with their doctors. The cost of ostomy paste may be covered by insurance.