Are you a healthcare provider?
Additional Resources Contact Us

Read before cleaning around the opening!

Caution: Watch for red, irritated areas. If excessive redness or pimples occur around the opening, call your doctor, reduce humidity delivered around the opening, and use only sterile water for cleaning. Do not use over-the-counter, petroleum-based creams like zinc oxide or Vaselineā„¢* products around the opening. If your doctor prescribes an ointment, apply it according to his or her instructions.

Skin care checklist

Skin care is easy but very important. It should be done at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. If you smell an odor around the neck or opening, clean the area every eight hours until the odor is gone.
  • Cotton swabs
  • Hydrogen peroxide and sterile water (mixed in equal parts)
  • Precut tracheostomy dressing, if required
  • Sterile gauze pads

How to clean around the opening


Wash your hands.


Dip a cotton swab into the hydrogen peroxide and water mixture.


Roll the cotton swab between the tracheostomy tube and the skin around the opening. Clean from the stoma outward. This removes wet or dried mucus.


Repeat steps 2 and 3 using a fresh cotton swab each time, until the entire area around the opening is clean.


Rinse the area using clean cotton swabs dipped in clean water only.


Use a dry gauze pad to pat lightly around the opening.


Replace the tracheostomy dressing, if required.

Get more details on skin care

The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.

We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the following individuals to the production of this content: Marie Lemoine, M.S.N., RN, RCP, Rob St. John, M.S.N., RN, RRT, Paula Thompson, B.S., RRT, and Missy Toigo, M.A., CCC-SLP