Tape seals objects together. Whether the linked surfaces have different textures, shapes, or sizes, tape can hold and enhance their durability. A barrier strip functions the same way. This adhesive acts as an alternative to tape to secure the edges of an ostomate’s skin barrier. Read on to learn more about the product. 

Problems a barrier strip can resolve 

If you have had an ileostomy, colostomy, or urostomy, applying a skin barrier is an essential skill you need to learn to protect your stoma. But at times, you might still encounter some problems with your ostomy appliance. Here are some examples:

  • Leakage

Leakage may occur because the skin around your stoma isn’t even. There might be some scarring or folds, so the baseplate can’t rest flatly on your skin. Output escapes through the tiny gaps in your ostomy bag. So, it can become frustrating and embarrassing, especially if it happens in public. 

  • Barrier roll-up

When you’re swimming or showering with your ostomy appliance intact, you might notice that the edges of your barrier lifted or became gummy. That’s because when your barrier gets wet, it can loosen. This means your wafer may not be stable enough to last long. 

  • Leakage and barrier roll-up

You can also have a combinations of both problems. When the barrier rolls up, it can get caught on your clothes and get pulled along with them. This creates a gap between your skin and the appliance and ouput may leak.

A barrier strip may help resolve these problems. You can reduce or stop leakage completely because it fills the uneven portions of your skin. It helps flatten the surface because it adheres to the contours of your skin. 

Barrier roll-up and lifting are uncommon with the strips. The strips are waterproof and can absorb moisture. A barrier strip can help boost your confidence, knowing that your ostomy barrier is securely in place.

Barrier strips have more advantages

In addition to helping stop leakage and roll-ups, the use of barrier strips may have additional benefits . Here are some of the benefits:

  • They are elastic

You can do a lot of activities while wearing elastic barrier strips on your ostomy appliance because they move along your body. You can bend and stretch without feeling restricted. 

  • They extend wear time

Along with being moisture absorbent and elastic, a barrier strip provides extra security for your skin barrier. It will remain stable despite the rigorous activities you may engage in. Your appliance won’t need to be replaced immediately since barrier strips keep it from lifting. 

  • They’re skin-friendly

Some people may have an allergic reaction to products made of natural rubber, especially when you’re exposed to them frequently. A barrier strip is latex-free, meaning it doesn’t have natural rubber. Therefore, it does not cause irritation and is gentle on the peristomal skin.

  • They’re pre-cut and pre-shaped

Companies in the ostomy industry such as Coloplast and Securi-T offer ready-made accessories like the Brava Elastic Barrier Strip or the Hydrocolloid Skin Barrier Strips. With these adhesive strips, you don’t have to manually cut the strip, which is adventitious if you have mobility problems. 

The different shapes of strips

As an ostomate, you have a unique stoma, so your needs and situation may differ from others who have undergone similar operations. No matter your skin type, a barrier strip can help secure the wafer. Here are the different shapes of strips you can consider:

  • Straight 

This strip is rectangular shaped and can be cut to the length you prefer. It can also be bent or stacked together to create a flatter surface for your ostomy appliance. It’s perfect for square barriers because it follows along a straight line, making it look like a picture frame. 

  • Curved

For round and oval barriers, a curved strip is the most compatible. Since it follows the curves of your wafer, the strip gets more coverage on the appliance, giving it a firmer grip on your skin. Like the straight strip, you can use one or two curved strips to reinforce stability. 

  • Y-shaped

As the name suggests, it has an extended part in the middle of the crescent shape, forming a letter Y. This shape provides wider coverage, so it’s good if you have hernias, folds, or rounded abdomens.

Barrier strip application

The same method applies to the three shapes. Here are the steps to ensure proper barrier strip application: 

  • Prepare

Before you put the barrier strip directly on your skin, warm the strip by rubbing it between your hands. This helps the barrier strip stick longer. Once it’s warm enough, clean the area where you’ll place the accessory with lukewarm water. After that, pat your skin dry. 

  • Peel

There are two pieces of protective paper you have to remove. For this step, you only have to remove one — the side you’re going to put on the ostomy barrier. Remember not to stretch out the adhesive while handling the strip.

  • Place

Put the strip on with at least half an inch overlapping the edges of the barrier. Once you’re satisfied with how it feels on your skin, remove the remaining protective paper and smooth the adhesive down to seal. Do this for around 30 seconds, so the strip sticks well.

Steps on removing barrier strips

Once it’s time to replace the ostomy wafer, you have to remove your barrier strips in addition to the wafer. Your skin might be sensitive, so you must be gentle with the removal.. Here are the steps on how to remove your barrier strips properly:

  1. Support your skin barrier by holding it with one hand. 
  2. Peel a strip gently and horizontally.
  3. Apply adhesive remover if there is barrier strip residue on your skin. 

Consult your healthcare provider

If you need assistance in choosing the best barrier strip for you, call us at 415-475-8444 or visit https://joinbetter.com/

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