When wearing a prosthesis, it's important to take care of the skin on your residual limb for a hassle-free day. Keep in mind that your residual limb bears at least 2.5 times your body weight, and an unhealthy diet can affect your metabolism which could lead to weight gain. Excessive weight gain can result in different complications and may even affect how you maintain the health of your skin, especially the area that's affected by your prosthesis. Here are 10 of the best skin foods that you can (and should!) include in your diet to help your skin stay healthy and problem-free.
Areas of maximum friction are susceptible to inflammation and epidermoid cysts. Salmon is rich in antioxidants that can help calm down inflammation, according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. Salmon and other fatty fish such as mackerel and herring, are all rich in fatty acids and Omega-3 which keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is also a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drink. If you developed a skin rash or chafing on your residual limb, tea aids in healing blemishes and scars while keeping your skin supple. Catechins (powerful antioxidants) found in green tea protect your skin and reduce redness, as well as improve hydration, thickness, and skin elasticity.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage; they're quite easy to find pretty much anywhere and aren't hard on the pocket.
Have you ever wondered why carrots are orange? It's because they contain high levels of beta-carotene, which is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A; it is the main active ingredient in Retin-A which is known to improve psoriasis, a common skin disorder that is worsened or triggered by wearing a prosthesis.
This fruit is high in healthy fats and contains Vitamins E and C, which are important for nourishing skin. Vitamin C deficiencies can be characterized by dry, rough, scaly skin that tends to bruise easily. Keep dry skin at bay by including avocados in your diet. They're best on toast with tomatoes or turned into smoothies if you're on the go!
Walnuts boost collagen production because they're high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Collagen is a protein that helps improve your skin's elasticity, which prevents sagging and helps your skin stay plump. They’re a great source of essential fats, zinc, Vitamin E—all of which are key to keeping your skin healthy.
Legend has it that applying this leafy veggie topically helps diminish the visibility of bruises and scars. If you're dealing with bruising around your residual limb, then kale might just be the solution for you.
Eggs offer a hefty dose of protein sans the unhealthy fat. This makes maintaining an all-over healthy diet easier, reducing the risk of increased friction on your limb against your prosthesis.
9. Dark Chocolate
Yes, that's right—chocolate is on this list! Dark chocolate is great for keeping skin firm as it contains flavonol, a very strong antioxidant. High cacao concentrations have less sugar (more sugar can be terrible for your skin) and contribute more in keeping your skin thicker and more hydrated.
10. Bell Pepper
Bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene and Vitamin C, the antioxidant that's responsible for generating protein collagen. Collagen keeps skin firm and strong, which can help prevent bruising or chafing around your residual limb.
Maintaining the health of your skin can help prevent or eradicate skin problems caused by your prosthesis. Bear in mind that what you eat on a daily basis has a huge effect on your skin's health. Start small by including these powerful foods in your diet – try them in smoothies or start adding them as sides to your regular meals!