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Urostomy problems

Severe skin problems

Large areas of skin that are red, sore, and weeping (always wet) will keep you from getting a good seal around your stoma. It is important to treat minor irritations right away. If you have a large irritated area that does not go away in a few days, or crusty skin around the stoma (called encrustation), contact your doctor or ostomy nurse. They may prescribe medicine to help dry out and heal your skin.

Remember that a well-fitted pouching system, drinking enough fluids, and good skin care, can help prevent problems.

Urinary crystals

Urinary crystals on the stoma or skin are caused by alkaline urine. The crystals look like white, gritty particles. They may lead to stoma irritation or bleeding. Proper cleaning, keeping your urine acidic, and careful fitting of the skin barrier will help prevent urinary crystals. To help reduce urinary crystals, you can also make a vinegar compress and apply it to the stoma for a few minutes when the pouch is changed. To do this, soak a bath cloth or small towel in a mixture of equal parts of water and white vinegar and hold the moist cloth on the stoma.

When you should call the doctor

You should call the doctor or ostomy nurse if you have:

  • A deep cut in the stoma
  • A lot of bleeding from the stoma opening (or a moderate amount in the pouch that you notice several times when emptying it)
  • Bleeding where the stoma meets the skin
  • Bad skin irritation or deep ulcers (sores)
  • An unusual change in your stoma size or color
  • Fever or strong urine odor (may be a sign of a kidney infection)

Last Medical Review: 03/17/2011
Last Revised: 03/17/2011