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A convex barrier may provide a more secure and predictable seal between your pouching system and your skin, which can help prevent stoma fluid leakage. Learn about the different types of convex skin barriers and when to use them.
When choosing a skin barrier, it’s important to consider the characteristics of your stoma. If it has an irregular shape, doesn’t protrude from the skin, and/or is positioned in a skin crease or fold, a convex barrier may provide a more secure seal than a flat barrier. And a proper barrier fit may help prevent leakage and protect your skin from irritation and damage.
Soft versus firm convexity
A convex barrier curves outward toward the skin to increase the depth of the skin barrier. This outward curving is designed to come in contact with the skin directly around the stoma (i.e., the peristomal skin), which may help promote a good seal.
Convexity can be firm or soft. Firm convexity has a more rigid structure and provides firm support that can help your stoma protrude, or help open or flatten skin folds. Soft convexity acts similarly but provides gentle support along with flexibility.
If you have a stoma that is below the surface of your skin, you could also use a barrier ring in conjunction with a convex skin barrier. This would create even more depth and help provide uniform pressure around the stoma for a customised fit.
Finding the best skin barrier fit
Below is a quick reference guide to help you find the right ostomy skin barrier.
|Situation||Skin Barrier to Consider|
|Your stoma sticks out, the opening is in the centre, and your peristomal skin is flat||Flat skin barrier|
|Your stoma is flush with your skin and/or your peristomal skin is uneven||Flat skin barrier, used with a round or oval convex barrier ring|
|Your stoma is flush with your skin, your abdomen is firm, and/or you have an injury to your peristomal skin||Soft convex skin barrier|
|Your stoma is below the surface of your skin, and is in a skin crease or fold||Firm convex barrier|
|Your stoma is deep below the surface of your skin, and your peristomal skin is uneven||Firm convex barrier, used with a round or oval convex barrier ring|
Levels of soft and firm convexity vary between ostomy product manufacturers, so if you’re considering using a convex barrier, ask your stoma care nurse for help in selecting the best option for you.
Have more questions or need additional assistance? Contact Hollister Secure Start services at 0800 521377.
View or print the full PDF care tip: Using Convexity
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