Summer is almost officially here! For many people, that means vacation plans, fun outdoor activities, swimming, biking, hiking, and more.
However, for those new to living with an ostomy, it may feel like a time to dread summer heat and all the water activities that often go with the season. But there’s no need to count yourself out of fun in the sun! With a few precautions and tweaks to your ostomy routine, you should still be able to join in on summer activities with your friends and family.
If you have recently had surgery, please check with your doctor before engaging in strenuous activity. For medical advice, please consult with a medical professional, such as an Ostomy Nurse or your treating physician.
Splish Splash: Dipping Into the Water with Your Ostomy
If you want to participate in water sports like swimming or water-skiing, but you’re worried that your ostomy pouch could loosen or fall off, remember that many people with ostomies are able to enjoy the same activities now as they were before their surgeries.
The majority of ostomy appliances have water-resistant adhesives that should seal well. This is helpful not only for showering, bathing, and normal sweating of the skin, but it should also keep water from affecting the seal during swimming.
Concerned about concealing your pouch so you can go swimming with your friends and family? Ostomysecrets.com has unisex swim wraps in various colors to go beneath your swimsuit for comfortable support for your ostomy pouch, swim bottoms for women, and swim trunks and board shorts for men. They also offer swim bottoms for women, although you can also wear a one-piece or even a tankini to help support the pouch. For men, simply wearing that inner support garment (such as the above mentioned unisex swim wraps) will help to keep the pouch supported and concealed, although you may also feel comfortable wearing a t-shirt with your swim trunks, depending on how high up on your abdomen your stoma is placed.
Don’t Sweat It!
With increasing temperatures, you may find you perspire more than usual, but ostomy pouches are designed to stay sealed to the skin and stay intact for up to a few days at a time, even with the typical daily moisture such as normal showers, baths, and sweating. Finally, after a few days, the seal will start to loosen.
On average, people tend to change their skin barriers every few days and reapply, but this will depend on your individual needs, the rate of usage, and the type of ostomy appliances you use.
Most ostomy appliances come equipped with a water-resistant adhesive that should seal quite well. However, if you’re having difficulties keeping your pouch sealed to your skin, there are special adhesives available that create a stronger seal than usual.
Convatec also has a full line of extended wear products such as skin barriers and various one-piece and two-piece ostomy pouches specifically created for those with an active lifestyle.
If you’ve been changing your pouch more often and the skin surrounding your stoma has become more irritated (redness, chafing, bumps, etc.), you may want to look into a powder to absorb perspiration.
As always, please consult with your treating physician or an Ostomy Nurse for specific care if you find skin irritation, rash, or discoloration around your stoma.
Remember, on hot sunny days, it doesn’t take long for the temperature inside your car to soar, so be sure not to leave your ostomy products and other medical supplies in the vehicle.
With the right products and information, summer fun could still be an option for you, even with a colostomy, urostomy, or ileostomy.
Stay tuned to our blog for future product news, informative articles, and fun rundowns of recent company events at 180 Medical!
*Swim Wrap picture credit: www.ostomysecrets.com