1. Check for Skin Breakdown Twice a Day
The best way to stay on top of the health of your residual limb is to check it twice a day for any signs of skin breakdown—this can include unusual changes in your skin’s color or texture, swelling, tender areas or areas that feel cooler or warmer to the touch, and pus-like draining. If you can’t see your limb easily, use a mirror to assist you.
Also, be sure to continue to check for red pressure patches that last for more than a few minutes after removing your prosthesis. If they persist, they could cause skin breakdown, so consult your prosthetist as your socket may need to be checked.
2. Shower at Night
This is an especially important tip for new amputees, because your limb will swell due to the hot bath or shower water and make it difficult to put on your prosthesis. It’s better to expose your limb to hot water in the evening, or whenever you plan to relax without your prosthesis. This tip will become less important as times goes on, but if you’re experiencing swelling that makes getting on your prosthesis more difficult in the mornings, be sure to skip the shower.
3. Always Wear Sunscreen
If you enjoy basking in the sun, don’t forget the SPF! Your residual limb is always covered, which means it’s extra sensitive to those harmful UV rays. Always bring sunscreen to protect your residual limb from sunburn, because you cannot wear your prosthesis while your residual limb is recovering from a burn.