I’ve all the time been a skincare lover. I’ve had different AM and PM facial skin-care routines, plus one for my body, for so long as I can remember. I even have my “special” rainy day routine. Until recently, I assumed I had all of the skin-care bases covered. But, upon becoming an amputee, I quickly came upon that while I now had one fewer arms than most, I needed so as to add an additional skin-care regimen.
Prosthetic limbs can take a major toll in your skin, and with this comes the necessity for a routine that’s built specifically for the residual limb that wears the prosthetic. When caring for the skin on a residual limb, superb lines and breakouts aren’t your primary concern. Whereas a flare-up in your face might, at worst, make you must hole up until it’s gone, an outbreak of any kind in your residual limb could physically hinder your function. In the event you don’t look after that skin, your ability to wear the tool that provides you independence could be compromised. In that case, glazed donut skin would change into the very last thing in your radar.
Even should you don’t wear your prosthetic limb all day, on daily basis, you’re more likely to wear it for not less than several consecutive hours once you do. For that entire duration, the skin covered up by your socket (the a part of the prosthesis that covers your residual limb) won’t see the sunshine of day, which implies it finally ends up living in an environment that promotes more bacteria growth. Marisa Garshicka dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS), says this just isn’t unlike what many have experienced in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many individuals have found that prolonged mask use can result in maskne. When our skin is roofed, whether by a mask or prosthesis, “this will cause trapped sweat, heat, and moisture, and that may contribute to clogged pores, which might result in breakouts, irritation, or folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles),” explains Garshik.
Prosthetics were designed to make your life easier, but one of the best strategy to get probably the most out of your prosthesis is to learn to work with it. The way you treat the skin beneath its surface is a large a part of that. Below, you will find suggestions for constructing a routine that advantages each your prosthesis and the skin it touches.
Meet the experts
- Marisa GarshickMD is a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) and a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell in Recent York, Recent York
- William Garcia is a prosthetic technician and founder and lead fabricator at Optimum Labs, L.L.C.
- Geoffrey Hemmen is an authorized prosthetist (CP) and CEO of Advance Prosthetics and Orthotics in Ormond Beach Florida
On this story
- Cleansing your skin and prosthetic limb
- Shaving the area under your prosthesis
- Moisturizing the skin under a prosthesis
- Using antiperspirant
- The importance of examining your limb
Cleansing your skin and prosthetic limb
As with the skin in your face, step one of your prosthetic skin-care routine ought to be a very good cleansing. In actual fact, it’s arguably much more essential than your nightly face wash, as there are more risk aspects for the skin of an amputated limb, especially if it’s continually enclosed by a prosthesis. You’ll want to make sure you’re keeping it clean, but that doesn’t mean scrubbing it raw. “Specializing in maintaining a healthy skin barrier is crucial,” explains Garshik. “The skin barrier is each a physical and functional barrier to maintain the great things, like moisture, in and the bad things, like external irritants, out.”