Managing Ostomy Odors

In layman’s terms, ostomy or stoma is a surgical opening created in different regions of the body for excretion of waste and debris. The size of the stoma depends on the kind of surgery and the body part where it is being made. Foul odor is an unavoidable consequence of the lifesaving benefit of Ostomy. However these foul odors do not need to become a social burden for ostomates. There are ways to manage this side effect and maintain their social dignity.

Understanding the stoma is very important for the right kind of odour management.

Types of Ostomies


A surgical opening in the large intestine or colon to remove the rectum and bring the colon to the abdominal wall thus creating the stoma for excretion of wastes.


Surgical incisions on the smaller intestine are made to remove the colon or a part of the large intestine thus creating the stoma. It is mainly used for excretion of waste material.


An opening is created in the small or the large intestine so that the urine doesn’t enter the urinary bladder and is removed directly after passing through the stoma.

Ileostomy, Colostomy, and Urostomy are the kinds of ostomy surgeries that emit odours that are dependent mainly on the foods you consume. There are a number of foods that emit foul odours while a number of them might actually help you get rid of the smell.

Foods that Emit Foul Odour

  • Asparagus
  • Baked Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Peanut butter
  • Some vitamins
  • Strong cheese
  • Cabbage
  • Cod liver oil
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Foods that Can Prevent Foul Odour

  • Orange Juice
  • Parsley
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Tomato Juice


Odour management has become easy nowadays with the huge amount of ostomy deodorants and accessories that not only mask the odour but sometimes also completely eliminate the odour.


Common Ostomy Odour Solutions

Odour deodorants, in structure, are just like normal deodorants but the constituents vary and are specially made to mask or hide the ostomy odours. These deodorants come in a variety of popular scents and the consumer driven market has created a number of unique scents available to the people. Many of these deodorants such as the Genairex Securi-T Ostomy Deodorant do not have a scent but get rid of the odours for sure.

Odour eliminators are very different from deodorants as they don’t mask or hide the foul smell but completely eliminate it. There are two types of odour eliminators based on the delivery of the liquid they use. The two types are sprays such as the Hartmann Dignity Odor Eliminator Spray and drops such as the Hollister M9 Odor Eliminator.

The pouching system can also be a source of foul smell and so many products are used to directly eliminate the smell from the source by adding something that works for a small period of time to eliminate the smell. This decreases the constant use of a spray or drops to mask or eliminate the smell. The Coloplast Filtrodor Pouch Filter can be applied to the outside of the pouch and the charcoal filters reduce the odour when the gas passes through.

Precautions While Managing Ostomy Odour

There are a number of things that need to be kept in mind while using anything to manage the ostomy odour.

  • Firstly do not use any kind of home remedy without consulting your doctor as it might react negatively with the stoma and cause problems.
  • Always read the manual on how to use different odour deodorants or eliminators before use
  • Check the constituents of the odour deodorant or eliminators to see that no allergies occur


Odour management is a key aspect while taking care of any ostomy. Taking a proactive approach in this situation will not necessarily make a difference in the ostomy itself but might prevent embarrassing situation in public and might also make you more confident about carrying the ostomy or pouching system around.