We understand that life can get busy, from taking care of your family to getting things done at work. There’s so much vying for your time and attention; it’s easy to let go of taking care of yourself. But as you go about your day getting things done, your residual limb bears the brunt of your daily activities. This is why you notice that the skin around your residual limb looks rough, red, and cracked. And as we age, these skin conditions will only get worse.
Skin aging, a natural process that comes with a negative connotation, affects your whole body. Which means that the skin around your residual limb will not only be subject to the stresses of aging but also endure aggressors that come with wearing a prosthetic socket, such as friction and constant exposure to a dark and wet environment. Therefore, the skin on your limb requires just as much, if not more, care and attention than the skin on your face.
If that sounds like a hopeless case to you, we assure you that it’s not. You can still save your skin and give it all the care it deserves. And you can do this by choosing the right salve, balm, or moisturizer that will protect your skin from the constant stress of wearing prosthetic limbs.
Salve and Balm
Salves and balms are used to help heal abrasions, rashes, and other skin irritations. When using these hydrating and healing products, it’s always best to watch out for the following ingredients: artificial colors and fragrances; alcohol which may cause dryness; camphor which may cause dryness; petrolatum; and parabens and other synthetic preservatives. Make it a habit to always check the ingredients list when buying new skincare products.
Moisturizers are recommended for everyday use, especially during the summer and winter months. But picking a moisturizer that’s good for you and your skin type can be overwhelming. So, here are a few tips that can help you narrow down the search.
First, choose a moisturizer that contains a higher percentage of water in the formula. Moisturizers with high water content tend to have a thinner consistency, making it easy to spread. Many of these moisturizers will also contain silicone—an essential ingredient for prosthetic wearers as it effectively fights against friction.
Second, watch out for the same toxic ingredients outlined above for salves and balms. Getting a moisturizer with any of those harmful ingredients will only make it more difficult to protect your skin.
Are you ready to choose your go-to product? Here are our top picks:
Highly-recommended for those with sensitive skin, this moisturizer contains a delicate blend of ingredients, emollients, and essential oils that work together to increase your skin’s hydration. This non-greasy moisturizer goes on light and spreads quickly, helping your skin regain a healthy, comfortable, and smooth texture.
Prosthetic users with severe skin issues will benefit from this balm. So, if you’re suffering from painful dry skin, cracking, tender skin, or recently-healed wounds, you may want to reach for this tub.
If you’re looking for targeted relief for skin grafts, compromised skin, high friction areas, or bony prominences, this salve just might be the relief you’re looking for. This salve also contains skin-restoring ingredients and emollients that not only revive your skin’s barrier but also lead to healthier and more resilient skin.
If the skin on your residual limb is painful and dry, it may also have low sebum levels, making it prone to skin sensitivity. You can relieve the tight and uncomfortable feeling by simply applying this hypoallergenic lotion. The product is formulated with 100% Silicone.For best results, apply salves, balms, and moisturizers to your limb twice daily. If you already have an existing morning and night skincare regimen that consists of facial moisturizers, creams, or serums, simply add your prosthetic skincare; this should make it easier for you to remember to take care of the skin on your residual limb.