Since 1986, International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) has drawn annual attention to the importance of infection prevention from October 15-21. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating the Fundamentals of Infection Prevention’, and the Amputee Coalition wants to highlight proper skin care. We know that wounds can quickly lead to infections like Sepsis and can be especially dangerous for those with conditions like diabetes. Our skin must be cared for properly and for people with various levels of limb loss or limb difference the regime can vary.
According to the Skin Care 101 factsheet, prosthetic sockets trap sweat and prevent air from circulating around your residual limb. Bacterial and fungal infections can lead to skin irritation, abrasions, and eventually skin breakdown which can result in the inability to use your prothesis for an extended period of time.
This factsheet addresses the fundamental skin care routine:
- Clean and dry – in addition to cleansing your skin you will need to clean your socket, liner, and/or sock daily
- Moisturize – nighttime moisturizer
- Special and/or spot treatments – some people need a daytime moisturizer with antibacterial and antifungal ingredients to fight infection
- Daily skin inspections – before putting on and taking off your prosthesis make sure you check for any marks
It also outlines a helpful and straightforward list of the dos and don’ts. Following these steps will help you stay ahead of any potential problems before they result in infection or decreased mobility. Visit the National Limb Loss Resource Center and browse additional resources.