OstomyLife Community

When to Contact Your Doctor with Stoma Complications or Peristomal Skin Issues

Laura Cox, LPC
Ostomy Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
03/22/17  1:06 PM PST
When to Contact Your Doctor

It’s important to know what your healthy stoma (click here for visuals) and peristomal skin look like. Healthy peristomal skin should look just like the skin on the rest of your abdomen. There are some symptoms to watch out for, and you should know when to contact your doctor. If you experience any of the following stomal or peristomal complications, contact your physician immediately.

Contact your physician if you experience any of these stoma complications:

  • The stoma turns from its normal red color to a very pale pink, bluish purple or black color.
  • An abnormal bulge is visible near or underneath the stoma
  • The effluent (output) drains from anywhere other than the stoma
  • The length of the stoma increases noticeably
  • All or part of the stoma is below skin level. It may visually appear to be concave on the abdomen
  • Separation between the stoma and peristomal skin is visible
  • The diameter of output decreases along with cramps and excessive gas
  • The stoma has a deep red, yellow or white partial discoloration (usually linear)

Contact your physician if you experience any of these peristomal skin complications:

  • Any wound around your peristomal skin
  • A skin rash that is red or dark in color and itches and/or stings
  • Wart-like, pimple-like or blister-like bumps
  • Weepy, red skin
  • Recurrent pouch leakage
  • Allergic reaction where redness is just on the skin that is clearly under the barrier

Contact your physician if you experience other like these:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent pain
  • A high-grade temperature

For more information, see related ostomy skin care articles and ostomy resources here:

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Dear Laura, I wear a two piece ostomy bag. I need help with concealing an ostomy bag. When I move around my shirt hikes up and the tip of the bag peeks out from under my shirt.
Hi Tom, I have a few suggestions that may help!
First, I'm wondering if a stealth belt would be a good option for you. This is a black belt that you can conveniently tuck your pouch...



  1. Posted February 10, 2019 at 2:44 pm PST

    Bright yellow burning liquid looks like mucus from stoma , skin bleeding and raw around stoma and raw are growing , no wafer will stick inspit of wipes , powders , adhesives please help have had 8 mthts. Thank you carol

  2. Aimee Sharp
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm PST

    Hi Carol. To start, we would recommend seeing your WOCN. They should definitely be able to help with not only your skin, but also the mucus, if you think it is an excessive amount. The amount of mucus your stoma produces depends on why you have the stoma in the first place. So, you need the wafer to stick well so that you don’t leak, but you need your skin to heal so that the wafer can stick well! It’s tough. We would recommend crusting, which you can find more about in this recorded webinar. We hope that helps! Best of luck. -Aimee, Shield HealthCare

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