Prosthetic sleeves and liners are essential tools if you use a prosthetic device. They’re easy to apply, provide great suspension, and, if they fit well, will make your prosthetic device feel light and comfortable.
Without proper maintenance, your prosthetic liners and sleeves can become brittle and start to crack. Also, they start to smell if not cleaned properly and regularly, and will eventually fall apart. Here are some essential tips to maintaining your prosthetic tools!
Avoid Animal-Based Skin Care Products
Any products containing animal fats, animal oils, or hydrocarbon oils will eventually break down your gel liners and prosthetic sleeves. Check your soaps, creams, lotions, sunscreens, and any other skin care product you use on your body—and find replacements if you find that they’re animal-based.
Air pockets or general looseness inside your liner will result in gel delamination. When your liner moves around more than usual, it will eventually break down. You’ll notice discoloration on the outside fabric, and eventually the inside gel will begin to thin out and tear.
Looseness affects prosthetic liners even more when you use a locking system, because excess movement near the bottom of the pin will make the umbrella (device that holds the pin) fall off from the liner.
The purpose of a good cleanser is to remove sweat and grime, with no extra chemicals or ingredients that could irritate your skin. Make sure you get a pH balanced cleanser to avoid irritation. Anything gentle, like a small amount of baby shampoo, can get the job done. When you go to clean your liners, use your hands and wash the gel and fabric until it lathers. When rinsing, make sure no residue is left behind. Avoid scrubbing too hard, because this could damage your liners over time.
These are great for keeping your prosthetic device clean on the go! They remove dead skin and prevent dirt and grime from accumulating. They will also keep your prosthetic from smelling! Make sure you find wipes that are pH balanced and alcohol-free so your skin won’t dry out. Avoid anything with bleach—instead, opt for wipes with tea tree oil.
Use a Drying Stand
Whether it’s professionally made or a DIY project, you should be using a drying stand to keep your liners sturdy and shaped correctly. Without them, they can get distorted or misshapen.
Being exposed to high temperatures can actually melt the gel in your liners, so avoid heat at all costs!
Making sure these things are taken care of doesn’t take much time but will go a long way in making sure your prosthetic device lasts and serves you longer!
For more advice, information, and support, contact Biotech today!