Have you been checking your skin this summer? Healthy skin = healthy you! Between outdoor activities and rising temperatures, it’s very important that you check or your child’s skin daily.
Skin breakdown is a frequent issue for individuals with Spina Bifida. This can be due to sensory loss, immobility, wheelchair use, excessive moisture due to incontinence or perspiration, bony deformity, obesity, and/or executive function challenges. Inspecting your skin daily ensures that lesions can be identified early – prior to their developing into deeper wounds. Once a wound develops, healing can be impaired by the very same issues that led to the wound developing in the first place (lack of movement, lack of feeling, etc.) and may result in hospitalization and, all too often, or loss of limb.
Follow our Top 10 Summer Skin Tips to keep yourself and your skin healthy this summer!
Top 10 Summer Skin Care Tips:
1. SUNSCREEN – SPF 30 and above. Reapply every two hours and after swimming.
2. Protect your skin. Minimize exposure to the sun. Avoid direct sunlight if you can. Umbrellas work great for this.
3. Protect insensate areas with long pants or shoes when outside.
4. Swim shoes are a must in pools, pool decks, or anywhere your feet might rub on a rough surface or be burned by a surface.
5. Check skin under elastic areas (swimsuits, clothing, underwear, etc.). These areas are especially vulnerable to breakdown when you’re sweating or wet from swimming/splash areas. Change your underwear, clothes, socks, and sheets every time they get wet. Keep an extra set of clothing in your backpack in case of an accident.
6. Keep skin clean and dry. More sweating means more bacteria and more moisture – both increase the risk of skin breakdown. If you use mobility equipment (braces, arm crutches, wheelchair, etc.), be extra diligent in checking areas under equipment and clothing. Moisture in these areas can greatly increase your risk of skin breakdown.
7. Deodorant isn’t just for under the arms. Use in the skin folds, feet, and any sweaty, moist areas after washing.
8. Check the temperature of a playground and other surfaces that have been exposed to the sun before sitting or resting on them.
9. Check the temperature of car seats – whether you’re driving, a passenger, or putting your child into a car seat.
10. Hydrate! There is a good chance you’ll be sweating buckets this summer – be sure to replace those fluids! It’s good for your skin and the rest of you.
Do you have any questions? Check out our Did You Look? Skin Integrity Bundle!