Itchy Rash – If you develop a mild rash, use an over-the-counter steroid cream. Also, make sure that your socket or liners are completely rinsed free of soap after washing. Keep your residual limb dry. Seek medical advice if these steps do not work.
Fungal Infection – If you experience an itchy, burning rash akin to athlete’s foot, use a topical anti-fungal cream and make sure your residual limb is dry. Seek medical advice if this treatment does not work.
Verrucous Hyperplasia – This is a condition caused by poor socket fit and is characterized by the development of a wart-like skin growth at the far (distal) end of the residual limb. If untreated, it can lead to an infection that could require revision surgery. Seek immediate prosthetic treatment to remedy the fit issue and seek medical advice to treat your skin.
Ingrown Hair/Folliculitis – Use ichthymal, a drawing salve. Never shave or use depilatory on your residual limb.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, emergency attention is required to prevent the infection from becoming life-threatening:
- Your residual limb feels cold, turns blue, or you develop persistent pain deep in the muscles. These signs may indicate that your circulation has become impaired.
- An area of your residual limb emits a bad smell.
- The glands in your groin or armpits swell or become painful.
- Pus/thick discharge seeps from any area of your residual limb.
- An ulcer develops anywhere on your residual limb.
- Skin becomes black/gangrenous.
By using common sense and caution, you can minimize the risk of infection, treat it at its earliest stages, and maximize the amount of time you are able to comfortably wear the prosthesis.