Question from Ken, a bigger life user

We got this message in from Ken who asked us to share his question with you all in the hope you can help.

I have had a stoma for over 2 years now. Last 3-4 months i have had grey matter appearing around stoma. I see a stoma nurse who doesn't know why it happens. Started using a product Called A G powder that is supposed to clear up infection but doesn't do any good. Tried all  products from different companies but nothing helps. Seems to be getting worse instead of better.Worried The stoma nurse thinks it a buildup of urine around it.

Anybody else have this problem and how did you get rid of it.

Thank You...Ken

  • Hi Ken, did your stoma nurse mention urinary crystals? Urinary crystals appear in the form of white/grey gritty matter around the urostomy. It sounds like it could be this. This happens when the urine is more alkaline. Try drinking lemon water first thing in the morning to balance the pH of the urine. By lemon water I mean warm water with a squeeze of lemon water in it. Cranberry juice is good too for balancing the pH of the urine. To treat crystal build up around the stoma:

    1. Prepare a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.

    2. Remove the urostomy pouch.

    3. Soak gauze/wipe in vinegar and water solution and apply to the stoma and grey matter area for a couple of minutes. 

    4. If its urinary crystals, the solution will dissolve the grey matter. 

    5. After the 2 minutes of applying the vinegar and water solution, rinse the area with warm water, dry and apply a fresh pouch. 

  • Hi in answer to your questions ...The stoma nurse said that is what it is (urinary crystals)  but no matter what I try its still there. She recommended the vinegar treatment but 5 parts water 1 part vinegar. Do you think that is too weak.

    I have tried products from Hollister 2 piece, 1piece, different thickness barrier rings, barrier wipes you name it plus all the coloplast products.

    I had no problem for 2 years since my operation in Dec/17 until the past few months. I always used Hollister products since they fitted me with them in the hospital. The AG powder didn’t work either. Willing to try anything ti clear this up.

    Thank You


  • Hi Jazzman, 

    Equal parts vinegar and water is commonly recommended so I would deinintely trying bathing the area in this solution.

    Has your diet or fluid intake changed over the past few months? Some food recommendations to maintain urine acidity:  meat, cereals, beans, fish, coffee, plums and prunes.

    I would highly recommend starting the day with warm lemon water before you eat or drink anything else. 

    It’s most likely not product related but due to changes in the pH of your urine.

    I’m hopeful the vinegar and water bathing solution and lemon water will clear it up for you.


  • Thank you so much for your recommendations. I will try it and let you know if its better. Jazzman

  • I still have the same problem. I take a warm citric drink every morning and bathe my stoma with a 50-50 vinegar and water solution when I change my unit. My stoma nurse has me trying different products, thin rings,etc. My stoma measures 22mm which is a odd size. Some products come pre-cut to that size,others I have to cut myself.
    Now I am on antibiotics which so far has not helped. The skin around my stoma is flat 75% and a bit of a hollow the rest of it.I use a recommended AG powder when changing as well. Do you think I should use a paste instead of the ring for a better seal. 
    Anybody else have this problem and any suggestions. Also been having a leakage problem lately. What is the most common cause of this. Are all stoma bag products waterproof so I can swim with it on.

    Thank You..Jazzman