Prostheses (socks, liners and sockets) are a literal extension of your body and should be taken care of the way the rest of your body is. Ensuring your prosthetic is clean should be as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth. By doing so you are making sure they last as long as possible and that you are from head to prosthetic toe.
A good scrub may be necessary to get a prosthetic limb clean, but be gentle. You do not want to change the shape of the limb in anyway seeing as it has been custom-made to fit your residual limb. Warping it can lead to discomfort when you wear it again.
Inspect while you wash
While you are giving your prosthesis a good clean it is the perfect opportunity to look at it from all angles. Examine any scuffs and scratches to makes sure they have not penetrated all the way through. Scout to see that all screws and attachments are tight and free from grime.
Know when a wash just won’t do
The most important factor when caring for your custom-made prosthesis is to know when a wash will not fix the issue. Certain discomforts can be rectified with a good scrubbing and other times you will need to make an appointment to see your prosthetist for further investigation. If you suspect a problem consult your nearest prosthetic and orthotic practitioners in South Africa.
Use the right supplies
The washing of prosthetics is best done at night to allow for the custom-made prosthesis to dry overnight while you sleep and do not need it. If you do wash your prosthesis in the day allow ample time to dry before putting it on.
Prosthetic liners and socks collect sweat and dead skin cells so they should be cleaned daily. Do not tumble dry these products. Simply hand wash them with a mild soap and water, then allow them to air-dry.
To clean the prosthetic socket take a soapy cloth and wash the inside without using too much water to avoid it permeating the socket’s material. Clean out any soap with a damp cloth and give it a few moments to dry.
Once the water has dried it is advisable to wipe down the inside with a disinfectant like rubbing alcohol on some paper towel. This should be done at least once a week. Dust with a little bit of baby powder to absorb excess moisture and you are clean and ready to take on the day!