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Do’s and Don’t of Skin Care For Your Limb

Once you have your amputation surgery, it’s important to take care of your limb to prevent bacteria, skin irritation, abrasions and skin breakdown. The right skin care for your limb helps you also have a comfortable and proper fit for your prosthetic. Most importantly, you should have a daily skin care routine (more on that below). Here are some daily Dos and Don’ts when it comes to the care of your limb. 

 

Dos: 

Wash your limb with a mild fragrance free soap and water every day. Make sure to pat your limb dry with a soft towel. 

- Cleanse with a mild, non-drying cleanser that is fragrance free or antibacterial. DO NOT cleanse in the morning. This will cause damp skin that can swell inside your socket causing issues such as discomfort. 

- Have a skin care routine. Get a hand mirror and do a skin check 2 times a day. Watch for any signs of skin irritation such as blisters or red marks that don’t fade within 10 minutes of removing your prosthetic. Make sure to document everything, such as the day your blister first appeared. Consider taking a daily picture of the area and report anything unusual to your prosthetist. Hand mirror

- Apply moisturizer at night or when you’re not going to be wearing your prosthetic. 

 

Do Not’s: 

- Use skincare products that contain alcohol or other irritating ingredients. This will dry out your skin, leading to cracking/peeling. 

- Use talcum powder. This can ball up and create an abrasion. Use ONLY cornstarch. 

- Shave your limb. This causes short hairs getting pushed back into your skin, which become ingrown hairs that can become infected. 

- Use your prosthetic if you have a skin breakdown. Put a clean dressing or a band aid on the breakdown. Apply first aid on the area daily and see your doctor. 

- Apply moisturizer to an open area.

 

About the Author 

Alicia Woodman is No Limbits’ Community Manager. She holds a degree in Communication and Legal Studies from the University of Illinois Springfield and is a former Ms. Wheelchair Illinois USA. Alicia was born with Spina Bifida and a RBKA as of 2020. In her free time, Alicia loves watching the TV show House, shopping and crafting. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.amputee-coalition.org/resources/tips-for-taking-care/

 https://amputeestore.com/pages/the-dos-and-donts-of-skin-care-for-amputees

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