Cold weather can wreak havoc on your skin. The frigid temperatures, combined with the lack of moisture in the air, leaves many people with dry and cracked skin. The skin on the residual limb is not immune from these issues.
Many amputees complain of dry, cracked and chapped skin on the residual limb, especially during the winter. Some lotions lubricate the skin too much, making it difficult for the liner to stay in place. It is impossible to remain comfortable with a slippery, cracked limb!
In order to minimize the effects of dry skin on your residual limb, it is important to remain proactive. Avoid putting on a wet liner. Be sure to thoroughly dry your limb before donning your liner and prostheses. Stay hydrated. Sometimes, despite these efforts, dry and chapped skin still develops.
Eucerin cream, applied liberally at night, can help to restore moisture. The thick cream is difficult to apply if it is cold, so slightly warming it in the microwave can make the application easier and more comfortable. (Be careful because overheating the cream can lead to burns.) Because the cream can be sticky, place a towel or barrier between your limb and your bedsheets to avoid a mess.
During the day, try Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel. This non-irritating product, available at most drug stores, calms and heals the cracked skin on the sensitive skin covering the residual limb. The formulation is easy to apply and does not cause excessive lubrication.
Monistat powder-gel not only soothes the chapped skin and moisturizes to prevent further damage, it works to heal the tissue. The mild compounds helps to reduce inflammation, making it more comfortable to don the prosthesis. This fragrance free powder gel also works to treat those small, red bumps that often develop. Many patients note a marked improvement after one application!
If anyone else has found a particular product to be effective, please share it with us.