05 May Caring for the residual limb
In the period immediately following amputation surgery, the medical personnel will be in charge of making sure the wound heals correctly and completely, telling you exactly what you need to do.
Once past the post-operative phase, you will be fitted with a prosthesis. You will need to follow a few simple directions during your daily hygiene routine to make sure the skin of the limb remains healthy:
- Use a neutral cleanser. The skin of the residual limb is particularly sensitive so it is highly recommended that you use exclusively neutral cleansing products (for example prosthetic cleanser PD595)
- Rinse thoroughly after washing. Residues from cleansing products can cause the skin of the stump to become red and irritated. This is why careful rinsing when bathing is essential
- Dry thoroughly. Before donning your prosthetic device, make sure the residual limb is completely dry
- Check the condition of the skin daily. Your daily hygiene routine should include a careful inspection of every part of the skin of the residual limb to make sure there are no points of irritation
- Apply lotion before putting on your liner. If you use a prosthetic liner, be sure to use a lotion that makes it easier to slip on and provides a protective barrier, while still allowing the skin to breathe. We recommend SL 108 Skin Lotion
- Apply cream before bed. To keep the skin soft and supple, it can be useful to apply a good skin cream like Alps Antioxidant Cream before bed. Alps Antioxidant Cream keeps skin supple, soothes irritations, and stimulates skin-cell regeneration
If you have specific needs, your orthopedic therapist and/or technician will provide you with further instructions on keeping your limb healthy.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR ALPS PROSTHETIC LINERS AND SLEEVES
The steps to take to keep your Alps prosthetic sleeves or liners clean are simple, but fundamental. Keeping the liner clean is essential for avoiding problems further down the line.
- Wash the inside of your prosthetic sleeve or liner with warm water and a neutral detergent (PD595). This is particularly important for prosthetic liners that maintain contact with the residual limb’s skin the whole day long. Daily cleaning of the inside surfaces of the liner with a mild detergent removes any traces of grease of dead skin cells
- Rinse thoroughly. Again, this is fundamental to make sure that no detergent residue remains that could cause chafing and irritation, especially if your skin is particularly sensitive
- Carefully dry the inside of the liner with a dry cloth
We recommend an additional weekly cleaning (or daily, if your skin is particularly oily) with an alcohol-soaked soft cloth. Carefully wipe the entire interior surface of the liner with the cloth and then thoroughly dry with a clean towel.
To clean the fabric exterior of the sleeve or liner, wash it by hand or in the washing machine at a low temperature with prosthetic detergent PD595.
A LITTLE CARE GOES A LONG WAY TOWARDS MAKING YOUR PROSTHETIC SLEEVE OR LINER LAST A LONG TIME
Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to increase the lifespan of your Alps prosthetic sleeve or liner:
- Always keep your liner/sleeve away from radiators or other sources of direct heat
- When not in use, put the foam padding inside to help keep its shape: try not to leave it lying flat for long periods of time
- Never leave your sleeve/liner partially inside-out
- Separate the sleeve from the socket when not wearing the prosthesis
SWEAT AND GREASY SKIN
During the first 2-6 weeks of using a prosthetic liner, you may experience an increase in perspiration. This effect will gradually disappear.
Should your level of perspiration be particularly intense in the first weeks of wearing a prosthesis, it is advisable to give your body time to get used to wearing it gradually, limiting the number of consecutive hours you wear it and slowing increasing this time as your skin adapts.
You can also regulate your perspiration by using our specific antiperspirant lotion designed for amputees, ALPS ATP008 whether during those first weeks or any time you don the prosthesis afterward.
If it is used in combination with a lotion designed to ease donning the liner (for example our SL108), first apply the ATP008 antiperspirant lotion followed by the SL108 skin lotion.