No matter what the case that leads you to wear a prosthetic limb may be, it’s fair to say that prosthetics have allowed you to regain some control over your life. To make sure that your prosthetics remain as functional as possible, you have to know how to take care of it. That’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. Here’s how you can care for your prosthetic limbs and residual skin:
Liners and Interfaces
The liners and interfaces of the prosthetic limbs are the most important parts of your prosthetics outside of the joint themselves. The skin of prosthetics are usually made of silicone or other types of polymer, and they may not be the most comfortable materials to keep in consistent contact with.
If your prosthetic is not well cared for, it can cause irritations, rashes, and other skin issues to form, especially near the stub where the prosthetic is placed. This is what the liners are for – to be the cushion between the prosthetics and the skin. You have to make sure that both the skin and the liners of the prosthetics are clean in order to prevent fungi, bacteria, and viruses from thriving there.
Make sure you wash your liners every day after use, much like you would with your laundry. You should always carry some extra liners with you in case you get too sweaty or uncomfortable. Also, you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals or alcohol to clean the surface of your prosthetic skin, as that can damage it and cause it to become malformed, and that’s not a good look. If there are any issues with your prosthetic skin, be sure to take it to your prosthetist, as they will know your skin condition and what to do to keep the prosthetic in the best condition possible.
Skin Care for Your Stub
You should never neglect to care for the skin where your prosthetic will be placed, as it’s the area that’s most likely going to develop sores or rashes if you don’t take good care of it. Before you put on your prosthetic, be sure to wash the stub with mild soap and pat it dry with clean cloth. Then, wrap it up. Repeat the process at the end of the day to prevent any fungal or bacterial growth on the skin.
The stub may have an opening where bacteria can gather develop into a serious skin condition such as infection or skin breakdown. These conditions are highly problematic, and they can be life-threatening at times. You have to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If there are unusual discomfort in the area or if you feel abnormally itchy, that may be a sign that you have to go visit your dermatologist. Avoid harsh scratching, as that could cause the condition to spread.
The skin near the stubs can be slightly thicker than the rest of your body due to the imperfect regeneration. It’s typically a good idea to moisturize the stub, but not if there’s an ingrown hair there. You should avoid shaving the stub, as it could cause an ingrown hair, which may cause an infection to develop. If you notice such a hair growing out of place, don’t try to pick at it or remove it by yourself. Instead, let the doctor examine and deal with it for you, as that will ensure that there’s no risk of infection and that your skin can remain as healthy as possible.
Also, since the stub will be covered by the prosthetic, it may be highly sensitive to sunlight and pollutants, so you want to make sure that they are always protected. Applying sunscreen and specialized skin care product for prosthetic wearers may be your best bet. Another thing you need to keep in mind that if you lose the majority of the nerves in the area, it can cause you to lose some sensation in the stub. You have to make sure you keep your residual limb away from a source of extreme heat or cold to avoid being scalded unknowingly.
If you need a prosthetic foot or leg then get in touch with us today to see how we can help.