Hot weather - you either love it or hate it! However, if you have an ostomy, it can cause problems.
Hot weather can and does cause problems in ostomy life, but everybody is different and is affected to different extents.
Knowing how to handle hot weather with an ostomy and how you may need to adapt your daily routine definitely helps and also enables you to feel more in control. Read on for some tips to help make the heat more bearable!
What aspects of ostomy life can hot weather affect?
Ostomy supplies storage
Hot weather can impact your ostomy bags & accessories. Heat can cause adhesive to start to melt therefore it will be less effective on skin. It's always best to store your ostomy supplies in a cool place of the home, such as a bathroom which doesn't get much sunlight, or in a bathroom cupboard.
How often you change your bag
The heat can also impact how often you need to change your bag. This is down to a variety of factors such as your skin sweating more. This also links in to considering taking more ostomy supplies than normal on holiday, especially if you are flying to a hot climate. Read our blog post with Ant on flying with a stoma if you are heading abroad soon.
Also, it may be worth ordering a bigger normal ostomy supplies delivery if you know the frequency of changing your bag becomes more in hotter weather.
There are some products to help with sweating around your stoma site, which leads us nicely into the next blog section of Peristomal Skin.
Peristomal skin refers to the skin around your ostomy and under your ostomy bag baseplate.
Hot weather can cause rashes, skin irritation, more perspiration, the niggling temptation to itch (try avoid it if you can - as much as we know it sucks! It can make matters worse and lead to more skin problems!)
There are products that can help sooth skin irritation such as calamine lotion which can be applied thinly on the affected skin, then left for a few minutes, then patted off so your skin is dry enough to put a fresh ostomy bag on.
Products such as Coloplast Brava Powder are used to help absorb moisture from the peristomal skin in order to reduce skin irritation and improve adhesive efficiency of your ostomy bag.
Wearing light and loose clothing can help reduce perspiration around your ostomy, but it doesn't always give you the confidence you need or go with the style you want to achieve.
Our support garments are sweat wicking so are designed to keep your skin cool & dry. Our new bamboo & organic cotton garments are also designed specifically with sensitive skin in mind and have an ultra soft feel. We also sell a light grey waistband, specifically designed to be discreet if worn under lighter coloured clothing.
What & how much you drink
Hydration is vital to stay on top of if you've had ostomy surgery.
We have a post that explains more in detail about maintaining hydration & how to spot signs of dehydration.
The average ileostomy output for an adult is from around 800ml to 1200ml. If you pass more than 1500ml in a 24-hour period, this is known as high ileostomy output. High ileostomy output means you are at increased risk of dehydration so it is important to keep an eye on output and know when to intervene.
How long you are in the sun
You can still enjoy the sun with your ostomy, but it's important to know your limits and the steps to take to avoid dehydration etc. Using sun cream of sufficient SPF is definitely a must, but it is important to remember that this can also affect the adhesive of your bag. When applying sun cream, keep a good distance away from your ostomy bag and the surrounding skin as the oil and moisture can severely impact the adhesion and actually prevent your ostomy bag from sticking at all.
Sitting in the sunshine for too long can also cause sunstroke, so it's important to regularly take breaks in the shade.
Disclaimer: As always, this post is from our Social Media & Marketing Specialist, Amy's, experience of living with a permanent ileostomy, Crohn's Disease and from what she has researched. Nothing in our blog posts should be taken as medical advice. It's always best to consult a medical professional if you have queries or concerns.
Other educational reads
- What are the stickers for that come with ostomy bags?
- What is going on holiday like with a stoma?
- Is it okay to fly with a stoma?
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