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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
mcatlin

Shave Hairy Stump?

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I am a new BKA as of the end of Sept. I have fairly hairy legs and am getting alot of tenderness from the hair being pulled by the sleeve. Should I trim the hair shorter, shave the leg all together, or just keep using lotion to decrease the friction? Any other tips would be great as well.

I have been getting around pretty good and trying to walk a couple miles a days but hair issue is starting to drive me nuts.

Thank you for imput.

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That's a tough question. I'm an LBK since April, 2004. I was told NOT to shave the stump. I do experience some pulling of hair occasionally, but not like in the beginning. If your hair is quite long, you might buy a clipper with guards to cut the hair shorter. I know guys who shave their stumps, but not something I intend to start. Lotion on the stump isn't such a bad thing anyway. Be sure not to use too much that would cause you to lose the grip of the liner.

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OK, This is going to sound crazy but works for me. I get a lighter and burn the hair off.

I do have a method to my madness though.

#1 I gently and quickly run the flame across the hair with a small lighter. (nothing bigger)

#2 I use a emory (fine) board to smooth away the curly part left over.

#3 I do this OUTSIDE of the house. (odor)

#4 Wash with soap and water, dry. Then add small amount of skin lotion

This way, the hair is still above the skin layer, but the hair still has a tapered end somewhat.

I learned this after watching a man from Japan cut and style peoples' hair using a small flame.

He mentioned that the hair ends were more tapered and not cut bluntly.

DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK !!!! I WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE !!

USE EXTREME CAUTION WITH FLAME AND CLOTHING !!

PLEASE DO NOT CATCH YOURSELF ON FIRE !!

"STOP, DROP AND ROLL" IF YOU DO.

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mcatlin,

I was told DO NOT SHAVE LEG period. I did get a kick out of Dave's answer :tongue::tongue:

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I was told not to shave also. Ingrown hairs... I wouldnt want a darn hair to start some infection. You have to be careful. I have a harry stump too. I shaved above where the liner goes. That made me feel better lol.

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I have a harry stump too.

You're spelling of hairy made me think of a stump shaped like Harry Potter!

The topic of hair removal never came up with my doctor. Are you allowed to wax or use some other method?

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Dave's answer cracked me up. He is braver than me. I am below knee...My doctor and physical therapists all told me not to shave my legs. I have no intention of doing anything near where those stitches were :) I shave from my knees up. Like others said, I have no intention of accidentally cutting myself or getting infected hairs. Be careful...

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The topic of hair removal never came up with my doctor. Are you allowed to wax or use some other method?

I would NOT wax. Infection can occur where the hair shaft was.

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Do NOT shave the stump...the slight irritation from hair folicles being pulled is a small trade-off for the protection and "toughness" the hair provides for the skin.

This is why boxers skip shaving for a few days before a fight.

You can use extra lotion to minimize the irration. Also, be sure to "roll" the liner on gently (instead of pulling it on) so the hairs don't end up under tension underneath the liner.

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I'm glad this topic came up, I've been wondering the same thing whether whilst I am going through the operation whether I ought to ask the surgeon to 'shave' the skin from the reverse side, hopefully to prevent any further hair growth as the residual limb I will have left will be quite hairy. When I eventually go through it, I will be an 'AK' I think? 'Above Knee' amputee.

Whilst someone talks about 'protection' the hair provides, boxers use hair so as any blows that land 'glide' off the face along the hairline. But surely those of us with amputations would want a 'firm fit' of any prosthetic and as such would be better off with no hair as that would impede the 'suction' of any prosthetic?

Also, you can shave with fire:

or get your haircut using the same method

I've also wondered about asking the surgeon to do something about the sweat glands in the same area too, has anyone had that done? I believe they can 'cut' them so they no longer produce sweat in that region.

Thanks.

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Hi All, as well as being a previous Symes and now BKA, I am a doctor and training Dermatologist, so im hoping to be of some use, especially as I have hairy legs too. Lots of points raised in previous posts. The trauma of shaving hair from legs can cause microscopic breaks in the surface which allows "commensal bacterial flora" to get in and cause redness irritation and folliculitis. The use of high performance razor blades- like Gillette Mach3 etc actually pull the hair out , snip it at the base and then allow the hair to retract deep into the little follicle- on regrowing the thick "terminal" hair can sometimes follow a different track with a sharp point and get stuck beneath the skin- thus causing an ingrown hair. I have used all sorts of tricks to avoid this. A very cheap single blade Bic style razor if your determined to shave, or even an electric shaver would not give such a close shave. The other tip is to use hair removal cream. Ive used Veet for Men. It works a treat. A prescription medicine called Vaniqa/ eflornithine reduces the speed of hair growith, but isnt actually licenced for this.

To reduce the natural bacterial load of the skin will reduce the risk of infections/folliculitis, a topical antiseptic should be used both as an antiseptic, moisturiser and soap substitute. I would recommend Dermol range of products ( lotion, bath oil and shower gel) or hospital style Hibiscrub.

From a sweating point of view, there is no surgical intervention available for this without scarring and grafting. I cant see any surgeon entertaining a procedure such as this. The sweating will homeostatically settle about a year after intense use/ post surgery. I really have to be in intense heat etc for my silicone sock to start to slip a little now.

Topical anti sweating agents such as Driclor are very irritant to the skin when used long term and eventually everyone will develop as contact dermatitis to them. Again a very expensive anti sweating treatment is glycopyrolate cream, but it is hard to get, unlicenced and not freely available on the NHS. Botox/ Botulinium toxin would be very difficult to administer ( unlike in the axilla/armpit) as the exact distribution of sweat glads in different in everyone in the leg and you wouldnt know where to inject ( without dye staining). It can also be extremely painful and paralyses small muscles. Laser would be an option but is sore and would require multiple treatments, despite what they say- laser hair removal is NOT permanent.

Sweating will be reduced if you have no covering knee suspension sleeve and if your silcone sock is cut short ( however this increases the risk of it slipping off !)

Ok, I hope that has all been useful. Happy to offer any advice regarding any medical aspects of amputations

G :biggrin:

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I am above knee and very hairy. I have a suction socket. Long hairs pull and I cant get sores from the hair skin abrasion.

Shaving gives good suction but the ingrowing hairs can create "zits".

The solution (for me) that is comfortable and stable is to use a hair/beard trimmer at 0 -length. I also make sure the skin is always clean and use adaptskin or babycream

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im a right aka and i have a hairy stump i tried shaving but it wasnt successful all i use some lotion and that helps besides that i think its just something you have to get used too

i tried waxing as well but that was real fruity hahahaha besides ingrown hairs suck lol

ive tried using a beard trimmer to shorten the hair but it didnt seem to help

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This is interesting as I had never been told not to shave and so I do and have for years as it is very irritating if the hairs get too long (I am LBK). I also still have a sweat problem although due to the way my leg fits the socks absorb this and are just very wet when I take them off. Maybe I need to rethink!!!

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Hi Ya Mcatlin,

I've been an amputee for 29 years and I was always told not to shave. you will develop ingrown hairs and some of them need to be removed by a surgeon. I would not shave at all.... Just my 2 cents worth..... Jerry

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This is interesting as I had never been told not to shave and so I do and have for years as it is very irritating if the hairs get too long (I am LBK). I also still have a sweat problem although due to the way my leg fits the socks absorb this and are just very wet when I take them off. Maybe I need to rethink!!!

i was told to use a anti perspent with no fragrance to help with sweating but ive never tried because im worried about a reaction on my skin grafts, but that might help with the sweating

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