With an Ostomy, there are many things you have to consider to make the most of your lifestyle, even down to the climate changes year round. In temperate zones, when the temperature changes each season to warm and cold extremes, it only makes sense for an Ostomate to accommodate these changes to ensure optimal wear in pouches and maximize the reliability of their ostomy supplies.
While generally most appliances, adhesives, pastes, and pouches are fine year round, active ostomates may have to make adjustments based on the weather and their level of activity in it. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Summer and Hot Weather
Having a stoma in hot weather can be a challenge for the active ostomate, but this doesn't cause a huge inconvenience as long as you plan well for the potential problems that heat and excess perspiration can cause. For warm weather, here are some things to consider:
1) For most individuals, the skin is more susceptible to breakdown in hot and moist areas. Rashes can form because of the friction/heat combination. This tends to happen where an ostomy pouch lies. To keep the friction down, find an ostomy pouch that has soft-sided panels, or to save money in the long-term, consider wrapping your ostomy pouches in an ostomy pouch cover.
2) Sweating causes extra heat and moisture to get between the skin and the barrier. This extra moisture can cause your adhesives to break down. If this becomes an issue, try a stronger adhesive and/or an antiperspirant around the skin to try to prevent moisture build up.
3) Also, if you're experiencing leaks, consider using a stoma paste around the area or an Eakin seal to strengthen the integrity of the seal for more confidence and reliability.
4) Entirely avoid using any kind of Karaya rubber based ostomy wafers. These soft rubber wafers are preferred for comfort by many ostomates, but in excessively hot weather these rubber seals can break down or even melt. In hot weather, the synthetic ostomy wafers and barriers will always out-perform a rubber seal for reliability.
5) The types of supplies you use will be proportional to your level of activity. For ostomates with the most active lifestyles, it is best to have a variety of pouching solutions handy for different situations. For instance, if you're a runner or swimmer, you'll likely want a smaller closed pouch with a waterproof seal when outdoors. You may also consider using a tape, binder, or a strong cover like Ostomy Armor to further protect your ostomy appliance. In contrast, those of us who move less, work primarily indoors in climate controlled environments most of the day are going to have less concern.
6) And finally, here's an overall health consideration: Ostomates tend to digest and process fluids faster; dehydration can happen quickly and unexpectedly. For this reason, it's important to make sure you drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. (This includes doing activities like swimming, where you may not be aware of how much you are sweating or how much sun your are getting!)
Winter and Cold Weather
Generally, there is little concern for cold weather and an ostomy. Cold climates are actually ideal for Ostomates as far as pouching goes; you don't have to worry so much about the extra moisture caused by heat.
The indoor heat and the outdoor air is generally dry relative to spring and summer in most areas that have both seasons, so be mindful that this can sometimes affect skin integrity in those with very sensitive skin. This extra dryness can cause extra irritation to an existing skin condition, so if you're prone to dry skin, using a low-cost humidifier indoors may be of benefit. You don't need enough to "steam" out the room (this could actually generate mold on the walls) but just enough to keep a level of moisture in the room.