Looking After your Skin in a Wheelchair Part 2

Checking skin:
·Check your skin daily for redness, swelling, blisters or irritation
·Shift your weight to the side and use a mirror to check your buttocks. Make sure to check either side. Ask for help checking your skin if needed
·If you notice that the skin is red, press your finger over the redness for 10-15 seconds before releasing. If the skin remains red it is likely a pressure sore

Lifestyle choices:

· Diet
* Make sure to have sufficient amount of protein (e.g. meat and nuts) and have a variety of vitamins and minerals (e.g. from fruit and veg) to help prevent skin breakdown and increase the healing process if the skin has been damaged
* Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight creates extra pressure on the surface of the skin against the chair. Alternatively, weight loss can lead to less protection for the skin over bony areas increasing the risk of developing pressure sores

· Skin:
* Ensure your skin is kept clean and dry
* Try to reduce sweating if possible as it leads to increased moisture. Moisture increases the risk of developing a pressure sore
* If on the other hand your skin is prone be being dry, drinking water to keep your skin hydrated and using a moisturiser
* Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. It may be helpful to keep a bottle of water easy to access on your wheelchair

· Smoking:
* Avoid smoking as it impacts on the circulation of your blood. Poor circulation increases the risk of developing a pressure sore.

· Clothes:
* Steer clear of stiff clothes such as jeans and clothes that are very loose such as boxers and might crease and get tangled during transfers.

Make sure to contact your GP, public health nurse in your local centre and your occupational therapist if you notice any issues with your skin

October 2022

Latest tips and advice