Skin Problems in Ostomy Patients: A Case-control Study of Risk Factors
Hanne Nybæk, Dorte Bang Knudsen, Troels Nørgaard Laursen, Tonny Karlsmark and Gregor B. E. Jemec
Skin complications are frequent in ostomy patients and a number of risk factors have been suggested. The data on risk factors have, however, been documented mainly in single-centre studies and the actual importance of the suggested risk factors should therefore be verified in a group of ostomy patients broadly selected from the general population. All patients with permanent ostomies living in Roskilde County, Denmark, were invited to participate in the study. A total of 338 responded and 199 agreed to participate. Forty-five percent of all patients presented a skin problem. Less than half (43%) of patients with a skin problem were aware of the skin problems, and less than 1 in 5 (16%) had sought treatment for their skin problem. Ileostomies, ostomies with leakage and ostomies in patients with body mass index >30 were associated with skin problems. In conclusion, ileostomy, leakage and obesity predisposed patients to peristomal skin problems. Other suggested risk factors appear to be weak or insignificant. Patients under-report the presence of peristomal skin problems and therefore it is suggested that they need to be assessed by a professional on a routine basis in order to avoid or better manage peristomal skin complications.