What Skin Health Can Mean to Your Daily Life

The area of skin immediately surrounding your stoma may be small, but it can have a big impact on your quality of life if it becomes irritated or damaged. Learn why peristomal skin health is so important. 


Learn about the impact of skin health after stoma surgery.

If you’ve had stoma surgery, the term “skin health” has special meaning. Your stoma care nurse has probably talked to you about keeping the skin around your stoma healthy. This is important because the state of your peristomal skin can impact your daily life in significant ways.

Skin health: two sides

Healthy peristomal skin may help you have the confidence to enjoy life without worrying about leakage due to peristomal skin complications (PSCs). Plus, healthy peristomal skin feels great. Life is simply better when there are no nagging skin problems to resolve.

Compromised peristomal skin may lead to irritation, pain, leakage, and worry having a negative impact on your life. If not properly addressed, these issues can get in the way of your daily routine and doing what you enjoy. 

Skin health and well-being

Living with a stoma poses unique challenges, but irritated and painful peristomal skin should not be considered normal. Consider the following results from a survey that measured health-related quality of life:

  • People living with a stoma rate their well-being about the same as an average person on the street
  • When skin problems are present, self-reported well-being declines 
  • At more serious levels, people with peristomal skin problems rank their well-being similarly to how people with severe heart failure or breast cancer do

Research suggests that even mild skin complications can have a negative impact on your sense of well-being. The bottom line is that helping the skin around the stoma stay healthy goes a long way toward enhancing quality of life.

Keeping your peristomal skin healthy

Once you understand the importance of healthy peristomal skin, it’s easier to make caring for the skin around your stoma a high priority.