Accessories – When do you have too many?

I recently saw a post on LinkedIn from an ostomy accessory company saying “You can’t have too many accessories”, I was less than impressed when I saw it especially after the CCG’s are cutting down on ostomy supplies. I thought I would talk about my views on when is too many. 

I for starters think that a nice thick line needs to be added to define what is an accessory and what is essential. For me lubricants, gelling agents, the barrier/adhesive remover sprays and odour eliminators need to be accessories as there are plenty of either dietary or household items you can use in place of them. The odour eliminators from the ostomy companies aren’t actually that expensive and last a while so they can be bought – I do understand how unpleasant it can be in different situations. For me essentials are things like ostomy powder, barrier rings – in their different forms, tape extenders and barrier/adhesive remover wipes.

I think that when you have a stoma for the first time or it is resited then you may need to play around with he different items available to find out what works for you. But once you have found that perfect routine do you really need to go and change it? No, I don’t think you should because you may have healthy skin and have little to no leaks then think ooh that’s new I will try that and then have sore skin or leaks etc. This is incredibly disheartening and not too mention can be painful! However if you are experiencing issues then there is no reason why you can’t try new items that have the possibility of improving your peristomal skin.

The line of what is deemed as too much for some people is different to others. For example I know people that use the crusting method (something I have never gotten away with myself) in their routine which is layering up barrier spray and ostomy powder and that is literally the only two things they use bar maybe an adhesive remover. I use barrier wipes (helps with my eczema) either the varimate wedges or eye shaped washer and in warmer weather or if I am going swimming I use tape extenders.

If your routine has changed and you are getting items you no longer want it is your responsibility to let your supplier know that things have changed it is also good practice to let your GP surgery know as well so there is no crossed wires and you get the items you actually want and need!

What do you think is too many accessories for your ostomy?

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