Dental Hygiene Association

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How To Reduce Summer Sweating Around Your Prosthetic Limb

prosthetic limbsAugust is typically the hottest month of the summer, which makes it that much more uncomfortable when you begin to sweat around your prosthesis. We all know that wearing thick clothing can be uncomfortable and stuffy in the sweltering summer sun. So it makes sense that your residual limb would sweat that much more when it’s covered by a liner.

By the year 2050, approximately 3.6 million Americans will be living with limb loss and will be dealing with the annoyance of sweating in a prosthetic liner. Sweating inside of the liners of prosthetic limbs can cause discomfort as well as an inability to effectively fit the prosthetic to your limb. Because sweat makes the skin slick, it can cause the liner to slide. As a result, your prosthetic which is meant for enhancing mobility can actually reduce mobility.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can fight back against these pools of annoying sweat.

  • Use microfiber towels
    One of the best ways to combat sweating during the summer months is to take off your prosthetic limbs once they begin to get too sweaty for function and comfort. Wipe down the limb and the liner using a microfiber towel, which absorbs more fluid than a regular towel. Microfiber towels are also easier to keep on hand than a regular towel. However, it’s important to avoid the creation of micro-tears in your prosthetic liner by patting the liner dry and not rubbing it dry.
  • Use aluminum chlorohydrate
    Aluminum chlorohydrate works as an antiperspirant and can come either in the form of a prescription antiperspirant or a prosthetic spray. This will help with any excessive sweating you may experience while wearing your prosthetic and the friction that comes with it. However, be careful not to use it too much if you have sensitive skin as this can cause skin irritation.
  • Wear a liner for your liner
    Wearing an anti-microbial liner before putting on your silicone liner can help to absorb the sweat so it doesn’t pool uncomfortably around your prosthetic.
  • Botox injections
    Botox injections are used as a treatment to help those suffering from hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. This is because botox relaxes the muscles and reduces the interactions between your nerve endings and your sweat glands. This means that your nerve endings won’t tell your brain to activate the sweat glands in that area of your body as much as it has been.

Excessively sweating during the summer months can be incredibly uncomfortable and bothersome. However, it can be even more bothersome when you sweat inside of your liner and your prosthetic limbs don’t fit as well as they should. By using these tips, you can manage your sweating during the summer to keep your prosthetic limbs comfortably functioning and in place. Talk to your prosthetist or orthotist for the best option for you.

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