For ostomates, skin barrier strips can improve your experience in many ways. If you or a loved one are in need of a more secure fit, read on to see if these versatile accessories might work for you.

What are Skin Barrier Strips?

A secure fit between stoma and ostomy bag is essential to maintaining a healthy peristomal area. Because stomas come in all shapes and sizes, not everyone will achieve the ultimate fit with a one-piece pouch or two-piece ostomy system alone. Barrier strips are designed to be placed around the barrier plate, picture-frame style. This adds security to the barrier, customizing your fit on uneven or bulging skin, as well as stomas with a surrounding fistula or wound. They are flexible, self-adhesive and often crescent-shaped. Barrier strips can also reduce the risk of leaks and increase wear time by widening the adhesion coverage area and keeping the barrier edge from lifting.

Benefits of Ostomy Skin Barrier Strips

Skin barrier strips offer specific benefits that may improve the overall experience of living with an ostomy, including:

Added Security
Placing skin barrier strips around the barrier plate adds surface area, creating a more ideal situation for the ostomy system to gain better adhesion. This helps prevent leaks, odors and skin irritation.

Ease of Use
Unlike ostomy tape or other adhesives, ostomy skin barrier strips come precut and shaped to accommodate most stomas. You can find straight and semi-circular strips, oval-shaped options and Y-shaped barriers that offer support to stomas located inside skin folds.

Flexible Construction
Ostomy barrier strips are designed to be flexible and elastic to conform to myriad body shapes and allow for regular, day-to-day movement without losing adherence. This flexible construction can improve confidence and wear time.

Skin-Friendly
Ostomy skin barrier strips often include skin-friendly ingredients, like hydrocolloid or ceramide. Peristomal skin health is paramount for the best ostomy experience, and creating an effective seal that avoids leakage without causing medical adhesive skin damage is the first step toward maintaining a healthy peristomal area.

Ostomy Skin Barrier Strips vs. Ostomy Tapes

Many ostomy tapes are air or water permeable, which makes them a skin-friendly choice for holding a catheter in place or other applications, but their fabric construction and limited shapes make them a poor choice for securing an ostomy system. Others, such as Hy-Tape, offer great adhesion and a watertight seal. Skin barrier strips, however, offer all of those aspects, plus a range of stoma-friendly shapes and skin-loving properties that fit seamlessly with most ostomy pouches and wafers.

Choosing the Best Skin Barrier Strips for Your Ostomy

Talk to your healthcare provider for advice on which ostomy skin barrier strips will work for you. Some popular options that work in many situations are:

Brava® Elastic Barrier Strips
A variety of shapes to customize fit, elastic stretch adhesive to move with your body, moisture-absorbing properties

Adapt Barrier Extenders
Thin and flexible to conform to folds or uneven contours, three-piece design to surround skin barrier and facilitate positioning, made without natural rubber latex

Securi-T Skin Barrier Strips
Use underneath or on top of appliance, gentle and safe for those with allergies or tape irritation, compatible with any brand of appliance.

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