As cities slowly reopen and lift travel restrictions, more people get ready to enjoy some much-needed time outdoors. However, preparations might look a bit different for prosthesis users.
We rounded up a couple of tips below so you can enjoy your summer minus the discomfort synonymous with the season.
Load up your prosthesis care kit
Watch out for your biggest enemy this summer: excessive sweat. When unchecked, it can lead to skin irritation and bacteria overgrowth. For some, excessive sweat can lead to liner slippage, making it challenging to secure your prosthesis.
When preparing for a full day out in the sun, we suggest including the following in your bag: a small towel, mild cleanser, prosthetic or shower wipes, prosthetic antiperspirant, and extra prosthetic socks. These essentials can help keep you feel fresh and clean throughout the day.
If you’re going to the beach, make sure to clean the salt water and sand off your prosthetic limb and liner. Doing this protects your prosthesis from any hardware damage and skin itching.
Wear breathable fabrics
When walking, prosthesis users spend 30% more energy than "able-bodied" people. This means that you can expect to sweat more generally. You can keep yourself comfortable and prevent overheating by choosing clothes made from breathable fabrics, like cotton and linen.
If you use a prosthetic leg, opting to wear shorts can give you better access to your prosthesis. However, unlike pants, shorts won’t offer the same protection to your prosthesis. You might want to look in to prosthetic covers to help you keep damage at bay while rocking vibrant colors and designs. These are often covered by insurance.
Wearing sandals and flip-flops
Using a prosthetic leg doesn’t mean giving up sandals and flip-flops. You can secure your chosen summer footwear on your foot shell with heavy-duty Velcro straps. Simply attach a piece on the bottom of your foot shell and the other part on the insole of your shoe. This will create a better grip.
Using mobility devices
If you feel like you can’t deal with your prosthetic limb, opt for other mobility devices like wheelchairs or crutches. You don’t have to force yourself to walk on your prosthetic leg. If you choose to overexert your residual limb, you may find yourself dealing with bruises and blisters, making it difficult to wear your prosthetic limb for at least a few days.
The golden rule is to listen to your body and make the necessary adjustments. You don’t have to suffer to enjoy summer.
Are there any tips we missed? How do you make summer a comfortable and enjoyable experience?