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Six Mistakes to Avoid When Using and Caring for a Prosthetic

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Using prosthetics can drastically increase amputees' quality of life. To ensure each patient's health, comfort, and convenience, a prosthetic needs to be properly used and cared for.

Unfortunately, patients sometimes make mistakes that detract from the comfort and convenience of using a prosthetic. The following are six mistakes to avoid when you are using and caring for your prosthetic: 

1. Not Keeping the Skin Near the Prosthetic's Attachment Points Clean and Healthy

It's important to take good care of the skin a prosthetic comes into contact with to avoid irritation and discomfort. Be sure to clean the skin daily. It's best to clean your skin in the evening after removing your prosthetic to get rid of any sweat.

It's also essential to pay attention to any blisters that form from rubbing against the prosthetic. Blisters could indicate that adjustments need to be made to a prosthetic for a better fit. 

2. Neglecting to Wash the Prosthetic Regularly

Any part of a prosthetic that comes into contact with your skin needs to be carefully washed. In particular, make sure you're washing the inside of the prosthetic socket and the liners regularly.

After washing the prosthetic, give it ample time to dry out. Putting your prosthetic up against your skin when it is still damp can cause skin irritation. 

3. Continue Wearing a Prosthetic that Doesn't Fit Properly

If you have any concerns regarding the fit of your prosthetic, you need to discuss them with your physician right away. Serious complications can develop if you continue using a prosthetic that doesn't fit you properly. 

4. Adjusting Your Prosthetic's Fit Yourself

It can be tempting to try to make minor adjustments to your prosthetic yourself rather than waiting for an appointment with your physician. However, this is never a good idea. Prosthetic equipment tends to be expensive, so don't risk damaging it by trying to do your own DIY repairs and adjustments.

5. Neglecting to Periodically Inspect Your Prosthetic

You should inspect your prosthetic regularly to make sure that it is not showing signs of damage. It's best to give your prosthetic a brief inspection both before and after you use it so that you'll know right away if there are any broken or damaged components. 

6. Constantly Wearing a New Prosthetic

You need to get used to a new prosthetic before you start wearing it all the time. Don't overdo it when you first get your prosthetic. Make sure that you give your body time to adjust. Start out by wearing your prosthetic for only a few hours at a time until you start to feel stronger and more comfortable with it on.