Even with the latest prosthetic socket technology, proper limb and skin care is very important. Prosthetic sockets trap sweat and prevent air from properly circulating around the residual limb. This can cause a paradise for bacteria. Infections from bacteria and fungal infections lead to skin irritation and breakdown. This is something you don’t want to leave unchecked. So here are a few tips in limb and skin care that will keep minor conditions from turning into major problems.
As an amputee, it is better to bathe or shower in the evening rather than first thing in the morning right before you head out the door. This is because limbs tend to swell in hot water, just making it all the more difficult to put on your prosthesis. For those with below the knee amputations, avoid sleeping or sitting with a pillow under the knee as this could lead to the inability to straighten out your knee. Also, do stretch exercises on a daily basis to make sure you can straighten your hip and knee. This will also make walking much more comfortable.
You should wash your limb with warm water and mild soap at least once a day, more if you sweat profusely. Show a little patience and allow the limb to dry thoroughly before putting on your prosthesis as this will lessen the chances of fungal growth.
You should check for skin breakdown at least twice a day, use a mirror if necessary.
Check back for more tips on skin care and prosthetic care for amputees.