The importance of maintaining good skin care while using compression cannot be overemphasized. Compression therapy is commonly used to reduce lower extremity edema and for treating medical conditions related to edema, including venous stasis ulcers.
Over time, skin gradually becomes thinner and less able to retain moisture. This makes keeping skin clean and moist especially important to avoid skin breakdown. Skin integrity becomes significantly more important when using compression–especially when treating lower extremity disorders that result from poor blood circulation to the legs.
Good skin care while using compression is essential and begins with short daily showers or baths to keep skin clean. Always shower or bathe in warm, not hot, water. Cleansing agents, whether liquid or bar soap, should be mild and non-irritating. After cleansing, it is important to blot, rather than rub, skin dry with a clean towel.
The next key step in maintaining skin integrity is keeping skin moisturized. Many common lotions remain on the skin’s surface too long before absorbing can cause a softening of the skin (maceration), leading to skin breakdown and possible infection. Look for nourishing, fast-absorbing moisturizers such as AMERIGEL® Care Lotion and AMERIGEL Barrier Lotion with Oakin® to prevent and protect dry skin and relieve red, itchy skin, without causing maceration.
It is good to establish a regular skin care routine two to three times each day to keep the skin under your compression garment healthy. Begin each day by applying AMERIGEL Barrier Lotion with advanced Dimethicone technology. AMERIGEL Barrier Lotion adds a layer of ultimate, invisible skin protection when using compression to protect your skin from wetness, reduce the risk of chafing, and decrease the chance for wound development caused by the breakdown of fragile skin. After bathing and before bed, turn to AMERIGEL Care Lotion to refresh, rehydrate, and soothe your skin. This top-of-the-line, fragrance-free lotion is also free from ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin or block pores.
Diet & Exercise
Lastly, be sure to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. A balanced diet and daily intake of 6-8 glasses of fluid, including fluid from prepared food, is recommended each day, as is regular daily activity and a good night’s sleep. In addition to maintaining good general health, these tips can help to keep your skin healthy and discourage fragile skin from breaking down.