Whether you’re a new amputee or a seasoned prosthetic user, your skin endures a lot of stress. And this stress results in numerous skin issues, chief among them are calluses, which are thickened and hardened areas of the skin.
Callusing occurs when an area of the skin is exposed to excessive pressure and friction. They typically develop over a bony area of your residual limb and are often uncomfortable or painful. While most people have accepted calluses as a natural effect of wearing a prosthesis, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be reduced.
In this article, we give you some tried and tested tips on how to reduce calluses the right way.
Soak your residual limb every night
Prepare a tub of warm water and baking soda, then soak your residual limb or the callused area. Do this every night. This breaks down the dead skin cells, which eventually softens the callus. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath will also yield the same benefits, with an added soothing effect. After soaking, make sure to dry the skin thoroughly.
If you have diabetes or have any open wounds, we suggest holding off using this technique.
Use a mineral oil gel
Calluses can take weeks to heal, so sitting around and doing nothing while waiting for the callus to heal is impractical. However, you can ease the effects of friction by applying a mineral oil gel cushion disc to the affected area. The mineral oil gel will absorb any pressure, which alleviates pain and prevents deeper callusing.
However, if calluses are caused by both excessive friction and pressure, creating a void for the affected area with calibrate gel pads can provide relief. Avoid applying a mineral oil gel cushion disc over a pressure-related callus, as the disc may add additional pressure to the area, which can aggravate the skin.
Stay away from lactic acid
Avoid using lactic acid foot cream on your dry, callused skin. Some of its side effects include peeling, burning, and itchy skin, which can make wearing your prosthesis the next day excruciating.
Have your prosthetic socket examined
However, if you have noticed that blisters and calluses frequently show up on your residual limb, your prosthetic socket might be the problem. Schedule an appointment to see your prosthetist asap and have your socket examined and adjusted. He or she can evaluate your socket fit as well as alignment. Having the proper socket fit and alignment is the best way to reduce your calluses and prevent new ones from forming.
Do you frequently suffer from calluses? What do you do to relieve the discomfort? Please share your tips with the rest of the community in the comments section below.