What ostomy products contain karaya? pastes such as Hollister's Karaya Paste 7910, powders such as Parthenon's K-Gum Karaya Powder, skin barriers like Blanchard's Karaya Wafer.
Why use karaya? Karaya has many uses but it's purpose in the ostomy world is for its ability to absorb many times its weight in fluid and its inherent healing qualities. Karaya powder has demonstrated its ability in helping manage diaper rash too. Pediatr Nurs. 2004 Nov-Dec; 30(6): 467-70 note it as a component of skin care products to treat diaper rash.
What is karaya? Also known as gum karaya, Karaya gum is a sap collected from a tree that grows in India. It has many names the most notable one used in ostomy products is Sterculia urens. Other uses for karaya gum include a bulk forming laxative; thickener in medications, cosmetics, and denture adhesives; and a binder in foods. Karaya gum powder in its purest form is white in color and in powder form. When wet, it becomes gelatinous. It is available in rings that can be molded into any desired shape like the ones sold by Blanchard.
Karaya powder is highlighted in the journal article, Karaya For Chronic Skin Ulcers, taken from The American Journal of Nursing, June 1974, Vol. 74, No. 6 by Gladys Wallace and Jean Hayter. In this article they discuss their use of karaya powder on a patient's excoriated and weeping peristomal skin as well as decubitus ulcers.
Next time you or your patient experience difficult to manage skin redness, weeping, excoriation, consider using Karaya K-Gum powder to clear it up. It's the purest form available and all natural as well as very inexpensive compared to common wound dressings and other ostomy accessories.
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