Sweat

“How do I stop sweating so much?”

This is one of the questions we hear most often from our amputees.

Unfortunately, sweat is something that, to a certain degree, is going to happen no matter what. Most liners are made of a gel material, which retains heat and will not wick moisture away from your limb.

Excess sweat can cause several issues when using a prosthesis.

First, excess sweat can cause friction between your liner and your skin, which could lead to the formation of blisters. Blisters can take a long time to heal, and if they burst can become infected.

If blisters or other skin breakdown occurs, your physician or prosthetist may suggest not wearing the prosthesis and staying off your feet for a few days to allow it to heal.

Secondly, excessive sweat buildup in the liner can cause the liner to slide on the skin.

This can affect suspension on your leg, and can cause shear forces which can lead to skin breakdown. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to managing and reducing the effects of sweat on your residual limb.

Antiperspirants — There is a specific antiperspirant that we have found works very well for our patients called Certain Dri. It can be found in most drug stores and does not require a prescription.

The important thing to remember when searching is to find an antiperspirant, not a deodorant. We typically suggest that our patients put Certain Dri on their limb at night after taking the liner off and cleaning their leg. After about 2 weeks of using this, our patients are typically seeing a dramatic reduction in sweat.

Note: start on a small section of skin first to ensure that you will not have any adverse reactions.

Liner liner — This is a very thin sock that goes between your leg and your liner. It will help to wick away moisture and reduce shear forces, which could cause skin breakdown.

Most liner liners will have silver fibers to help eliminate odors as well.

Suspension — There are certain types of suspension that can help reduce sweating, specifically vacuum suspension.

An active pump in the prosthesis maintains negative pressure in the socket, meaning the limb will always be in close contact with the gel liner, preventing sweat glands from generating excessive moisture.

What NOT to do

It is easy to be tempted to put baby powder or talc powder inside the liner to help absorb moisture.

However, the powder will just absorb the sweat and become a sticky paste inside the liner, making it uncomfortable and difficult to clean out. Additionally, using lotion before putting the liner on can increase the detrimental effects of sweat, such as skin breakdown or causing the liner to slide down your leg.

We typically encourage people to use lotion at night after cleaning their leg to allow time for the lotion to absorb into the skin. If you use lotion, use a non-scented lotion that is gentle on skin. Scented lotions can easily cause skin irritation, especially inside a hot and sweaty liner.

If you feel like you are having an issue with sweat, try these tips or speak to your prosthetist to find a solution specific to your needs.