These days, whenever an ostomy-product manufacturer mails you, or your national support charity sends you their latest newsletter, you can expect a small mountain of samples to drop out of the envelope.
As a colostomate, and as someone involved with the online ostomy support world, I have received my fair share of samples. And to be honest, most of them go straight in the bin as I’m either not looking for the particular service that that product claims to offer, or I just doubt it works as well as it claims.
It’s a little known fact that I have to shave the area around my stoma because I’m a hairy bear, and without doing that the flange never sticks securely. I’ve always had sensitive skin, my face never really got used to be being shaved so I often have neck rashes, and the skin under the flange has fared no better with it having had a shaving rash the majority of the fourteen years I’ve had my stoma.
Over the years I’ve tried countless second skin wipes and they never really worked as well as they claimed, in face the alcohol based ones used to make it worse, and over time it became instinctive to dismiss the skin wipe product samples and to tar them all with the brush of disappointment.
So it was with these thoughts in the back of my mind that I tried the Niltac and Silesse product samples, manufactured by The Trio Group. And not only was I pleasantly surprised enough to write this editorial review, but I discovered that the combining the products helped me achieve some very surprising bonuses too – namely, far better pouch security and adhesion times.
But first, let’s look at the skin care side of the products. Silesse is a sting free skin barrier – a second skin wipe, if you prefer to call it that. And Niltac is a medical adhesive remover, also none sting. I can’t tell you how great the fact they are non-sting is. My initial trials of second skin wipes in the 90s were disasters as they contained alcohol, and after rubbing them on my razor rash I would scream and dance around the bathroom for 5 minutes going “ooo, ahhhh, ahhhh, oooo”. So, the lack of any sting in those products is a huge boost. I realise it’s not unique, most ostomy skin care products are non-sting these days, but nevertheless it’s still an important tick in the box for Trio’s products.
For my own curiosity I tend to take photos of the skin before I start a new product, so that I can easily compare how successful a product has been. And after only two weeks of use (and my still continually shaving the area at each pouch change,) I found that the combined use of Silesse and Niltac had made a visible difference to my skin. What was once a red raw, occasionally bleeding rash, was now a gentle purple colour, and the smaller rash spots had healed even further.
Week One – Before Using Trio Niltac & Silesse
Here’s the photo’s I took. Week one was the start of the process, and you can see how spotty and raw the skin under the flange is. The week two picture clearly shows how things have started to heal, and that more clear skin is visible than in the week one comparison. And I also have to note at this point, that the picture isn’t telling the full story – my skin looked even better through my own eyes than my rather dubious photography skills are able to show.
No complicated application ritual is needed to apply the products either. You just need use the adhesive removal wipe first to remove any remaining adhesive residue, then wash the skin thoroughly as normal, then once dry apply the Silesse skin barrier wipe, and let that dry for a few seconds.
Two Weeks Later – Rash is now purple and healing after 14 years
I do believe though that there is one extra feature of this product combination which has helped my skin that is not mentioned on the packaging. And that is that after using these products I’ve found that three out of four flanges have adhered to my skin better than before. How do I know? I have a very dodgy stoma with belly creases causing all sorts of problems for my flanges which inevitably lead to leakage and my needing to change the flange.
But, with the Silesse in place the flange appears to stick better to my skin. I’ve had less leaks, and believe me nearly every flange before this would start to lift and leave a chance for leakage to break through! Now, I cannot certify for a fact this is down to the product at this early stage, it could just be coincidence, but I do truly believe that it is thanks to the Silesse. In the past it would take 2, maybe three days for the flange to get creased to the point where the security would break down. Over the last two weeks I’ve been getting four days out of the flanges with no problems, and in most cases I was changing it only for hygiene reasons and it could have stuck in place longer. Again though, this is not a labelled feature of the product, so it could just be a case of my being lucky.
So what’s the point of me writing this editorial? Well, firstly it’s to let people know about these products. It’s very rare I write a product review as the success of any product is down to the subjective nature of the person’s body. What works for one (me), may not work for another (you). But every so often I try some products which really blow me away at how good they do their job, and this has been one such instance. I very nearly didn’t try the products, as my past disappointments were clouding my opinion on samples, but I’m so glad that I did.
I guess the moral of this story is “don’t be afraid to try new products”, you’ve nothing to lose. OK, maybe the ones you tried yesterday were utter failures, but that doesn’t mean that the next product won’t change your ostomy routine for the better, for ever. And that is what the combination of Niltac and Silesse appears to be doing for me, as my skin rash is not as itchy, the skin is starting to look healthier and the pouches are sticking better than ever – even with my podgy belly creases.
You can find out more about Trio’s range of ostomy products by visiting their website at www.triohealthcaregroup.com or by visiting their manufacturer’s page here on Ostomyland.
There’s been a lot of interest in this editorial and so I thought you might like to know how things have progressed with my skin rash after this article was written.
End of wk3 versus start of wk1 comparison
Today is the end of week 3 of the treatment, and the skin continues to get better and better. I’ve taken another photo to show the current situation with it, and created a comparison graphic between this new week 3 photo and the week 1 photo so that it’s easier to see the progress that has been made.
Needless to say I’m continuing to use the Silesse and Niltac products from Trio, and I’ve had it confirmed that I wasn’t imagining the increase in flange adhesion after using the products, with many people reporting similar effects so that’s great too.
The 2pc flange and pouch system I use is sticking as well as it ever has. For the record I use the Coloplast Assura 2 piece (based on their System 2 product line) flange and pouch system. Out of curiosity I’ve also tested Silesse against some of Coloplast’s one piece Assura pouches this week and they too stick very well, and Trio’s product continued to protect my skin from changing the 1pc pouch twice a day for two days.
LetsTalkIBD is a popular bowel related video blog hosted on You Tube. They’ve just posted three videos related to Trio’s products which are worth checking out for extra information and opinion about these products if you are interested in hearing more.
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