Photo Courtesy of fbcaugusta.org
The official start to summer is only a few weeks away, and summer is a wonderful time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. After living in the US for almost 10 years, summer has become my favorite season. And rightly so, because I am an outdoors girl. Whether it’s running, swimming, hiking, or whatever, I prefer to be outside. However, summer also means sweat, a lot of it.
Many amputees, including myself, deal with perspiration on a daily basis, and the summer months can be especially problematic. A large buildup of sweat is not only uncomfortable, but it can cause skin breakdown. I am currently dealing with this right now, because spring here in Kansas City just never happened. It went straight from cold to very hot. My skin hasn’t had time to adjust to warm temperatures, and now my skin has some heat rashes.
Here are a few options to help you battle sweat as the heat ramps up during the summer months.
If you are like me and work in the office all day, you probably don’t think about taking your prostheses off during the day. However, if you feel like there’s sweat inside the socket, take off your prosthesis. Dry your skin and liner periodically throughout the day with a clean dry towel or whenever there seems to be a buildup of sweat.
Always make sure you clean your silicone with mild antibacterial soap and warm water after wearing it all day. The same goes for your residual limbs. Make sure there’s no dirt on your silicone or skin. Sweat in the socket combined with sensitive skin can lead to bacterial infections.
While it may seem counterintuitive, keep a supply of prosthetic socks handy. As you sweat, your residual limb can reduce in size. A loose socket combined with excessive sweat can be a troublesome combination. To prevent skin breakdown, always make sure your prosthesis is fitting snugly, even when it is hot.
Practice safe skin care throughout the summer months to prevent any discomfort or infections with the skin surrounding your prosthetic device. If you feel you are developing an infection or have any skin care questions, contact your prosthetist or your amputee friend!
I hope your summer plans include lots of outdoor activities, soaking up the summer sun! I know mine well! Happy almost summer!