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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Blisters

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Am needing some advice on blisters, have developed a line of blisters across the scar -line of one of my legs, have been on antibiotics for a week now and almost finished what was given, but they are still there and not budging, even though am not wearing the prosthesis.

Have never encountered anything like this in over forty years of wearing prosthetics, however, have been having problems with a new prosthesis, in the same area, but being bilateral this is causing real problems now and even though I am using a wheelchair its causing problems with my leg.

Just wondered if you guys had any ideas on blisters, how long they generally last and what best to do with them.

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The few times I've had them they pop on their own and go away. Sounds like the new leg isn't making good contact in that area. Since you're not wearing the leg they should go away.

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Yes Ann, but when I stopped wearing my leg {it took 2 weeks, though} they finally healed & am back up. It took several days for me to be able to wear it all the time. I also was on antibotics. Did your leg swell much when not in your prosthesis..mine did. Maybe they weren't strong enough. Don't U just hate that? Get well soon. :happy:

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Ann, if you're having problems getting a good fit in that same area, once the blisters have finally healed see if they can give you a blister patchk, exdtra padding, or some othre specialized dressing to wear whiole they're working out the fit on the leg. And if you're running oiut of antibiotics and the blisters have not yet healed, make sure your doctors knows that...they may want to prescribe a diufferent antibiotic.

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I was expecting something like this to happen, long story, but you are right Neal, the prosthesis is/was not making contact properly. Ann, the leg is actually far less swollen now on the end than it has been for ages, so not sure if I had an infection before the blisters, or it was due to the fit of the leg, either way, apart from the blisters it looks calmer and more normal and not so painful. Cheryl, thanks for the advice, I am between prosthetic centres at the moment, so again, long story and complicated. I finish the antibiotics today, but the blisters are obviously still there and now discoloured which is concerning me a bit, I've had the odd friction blister now and again, which has gone after a few days, but this has been quite different, so will probably be contacting the GP again.

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Hi Ann,

I am new here, but did have a lot of problems with blisters on an arm prosthesis. All the info I got from doctors & prosthetists was of no use. Then I found lavender oil. It kills all known bacteria, penetrates the skin & encourages the body to repair. I also found that you have to be careful with areas you treat & do not treat, as if there is a section of skin that has lavender oil (must be augustofolia) a a bit untreated, the untreated portion will stick a little & will then blister. So if you are not going to treat the whole stump, you treat the blistering area heavily & then "feather down" the treatment to the area you are not going to treat.

Some blisters just reabsorb, but it is usual to clear up in a few days with treatment.

By the way I try to discourage the use of anti-biotics as much as possible, natural oils, vitamins, & the right food, usually help to overcome hassles without resulting in additional long recovery period.

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Thanks for the info Caveman, I too usually like the natural approach, though at the moment going with the antibiotics, had a similar thing with other leg some years back and didn't get them quickly or strong enough and in the end were what worked, very quickly when i got the type I needed, but it was a long haul and not wanting to go down the same route again, but would agree and am doing everything else with the vitamins, food, etc.etc.

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Been back to see GP today, he says there is no infection but concerned about the scar line very fragile, said didn't need more antibiotics, just not to wear the prosthesis for the time being.

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Well lavender oil acts as a lubricant, so will decrease any rubbing considerably, as well as speeding up the skin re-growth.& healing. I found that I was able to wear an arm silicone suction sleeve & prosthesis with blisters once I was using the lavender... But my arm & your leg are two different skin types & mine being a suction hang mostly while yours is a much higher pressure situation. I wear my arm ~ 18hrs a day as I have a significantly compromised left hand (50% muscles work & 30% std power), & can do little by myself without it.

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Thanks Caveman, understand yours is an arm and mine is a leg, I too normally wear that prosthesis 24/7 and am bilateral , with the other side not so great, so, bit like you with your arm, not wearing it causes major problems, but at the moment it won't tolerate any pressure, and the prosthesis not fitting anyway, but we do all become very dependent on wearing these prostheses, don't we? Guess now I just have to be patient though and let it heal.

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Look Ann, I am probably on the wrong track, but I remember in the bad old days - ~1964 that one thing that toughened skin on feet to stop blisters forming was a mix of meths & raw linseed oil. I only know that at the time I researched it as I was a runner & was going to walk (no running) 50 miles, so used it for ~3 weeks to toughen my feet. I can only say the race organizes made a mistake & the race was 52 miles, I never got any blisters & would have made it in 10 hours if I had not decided to help "push" the big fellow who had pushed me in the beginning of the walk, we finished together in 10:25- but there was,I think, an~ 1800ft rise we had to walk over ( Grahamstown to Bathurst and back)in the Eastern Cape.

I can only say the mix worked on my feet, & at that pace I used to have wet feet, it may be worth researching.

Without adequate circulation .healing is inhibited, - tensing the muscles should assist circulation..

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Yes understand the circulation bit Caveman, I had a revision on the other side few years back which some thought wouldn't heal due to the grafting, but it did, so am well versed on that and currently using similar techniques as I did then. Also, remember the bad old days too (though not sure they were all that bad) in the 1970's remember having various substances applied to my stumps to toughen them up, though think even the toughest stump will eventually break down if the prosthetic fit is not right, but the troublesome stump/scar line at the moment has been very well acclimatised to prosthetic wear for all those years since the 1970's, so whilst I am thinking naturally about diet, vitamins, circulation etc., I am also heeding the medical advice I have now sought, as am only too well aware of the consequences if this doesn't heal. But thank you anyway for your concern.

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Update folks. The blisters have now gone and just have one huge scab. Had the leg checked by the nurse several times and there is no infection, so all should be ok. However, the prosthesis still doesn't fit properly and after twenty minutes or so of wearing it is aggravated again in same spot, so am wary of pushing it too much. So am currently really sitting and waiting which is driving me slightly crazy as its been about four weeks now I haven't been walking and although the stump looks ok, the rest of me isn't and everything seizing up gradually. Am waiting for an appointment at another place, but they are still waiting for the paperwork from the previous place, so all being held up ... very frustrating.

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Hey my friend - I haven't been checking this as often as I should...I am so sorry you are going through "stuff" right now. It is so frustrating for you I know...Heck, we don't have a great leg to stand on, so you have to rest up and save your strength to fight to get them to help you. I so wish you could come over here and use my prosthetist. You have to take care of yourself so you can be strong when they finally get you fixed :) I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you, hang in there. I just want them to get your fit right!! :) :) :)

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arhh ... thanks Flip.. the blisters are now healing/healed ... though prosthesis on that side still doesn't fit on that side ... so am resting up quite a bit .... and watched more Christmas films in the last month than I think I ever had watched !!!

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Hi Ann,

I guess this may be a time to raise a question that may be related to your problem Ann.

This is stump shrinkage, that I am having a problem with & it may be part of your problem.

The nub of the problem is how to keep ones weight down ( or loose a few inches round the waist) BUT not loose any bulk round your stump, in fact I would like to plump my stump up a tad, otherwise my --.ing arm falls off when I try to carry moderated weight bag out of the shop, or tool bag back to the garage.

I know there is stuff on the market to "firm up your skin", but when I read the ingredient list, it is not in line with what I read about being good for the skin etc. What we appear to need is stuff to penetrate the skin & add to the bulk underneath the skin, if I am logical I would say that increasing muscle mass is the under-skin way to bulk up, BUT while a stump has a few muscles, at least I find its mighty difficult to remember to exercise them, so the jolly muscles shrink. - all tumbles in the wrong direction. Does anyone have some suggestions??

.

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Hi, sorry Caveman, have only just picked up your posting.

We are now probably about six or seven months on and the blisters did heal. I learned that my problem wasn't actually stump shrinkage as such, my problem was that my prosthesis had been made too tight at the top/mid section and was way too big at the end, so higher up it was constricting the circulation somewhat and the end not making contact, so the blood flow was not returning and the end of the stump went hard and red and blistered along the scar line. Luckily at this point I stopped wearing it and got medical advice, but took me a while to find out what was going on. I was actually off the leg a couple of months whilst having a new one made, all is ok now, except I am now in the process of getting a new socket made for the other side which is for some reason they are having problems with and am now into five months of fittings which is pretty frustrating.

I am always trying to keep my weight down, though whatever I do it seldom changes, perhaps I need to try harder! I find cutting calories now beneficial, though sometimes need to eat more for energy. However, a very experienced prosthetist explained to me that in an established amputee the stump doesn't really change very much, in fact what I find changes the shape particularly is different shaped sockets etc., recently because of issues getting my prosthetics made I have had to switch to a leg I had made about three or four years back, which has a few of its own issues, but it actually fits me very well indeed, yet in that time I have had umpteen sockets/legs made which haven't fitted and after a few months got far too big and had suggestions that I had shrunk but I don't think I actually had, it was just the sockets didn't probably fit me in the first place. But just my opinion.

To be honest I would probably be very hesitant of using any sort of stuff to firm up the skin, am really careful about using chemicals. Interestingly though I have had plastic surgery on the other leg, not really for that reason, but it has given me a much better shaped stump with more bulk though I am not sure if this is actual muscle or not now. Like you say it is hard to remember to exercise the stump especially when you are wearing the prosthetics, over here we are not really given exercises for the stump and most are concentrated on the core muscles etc. though as a b/k amp I have worn many types of prostheses and the conventional type most of us wear now I have only worn for just over twenty years, though I do notice that in that time the muscles in the stump have atrophied more and quicker than they ever were in the old metal type legs, so not sure if this is age related or anything to do with the type of limbs most of us are are wearing nowadays. I remember when I had to swop to the modular type limb and remember being told that one of the benefits would be that i would be exercising the muscles more, but don't think that has been the case for me. Though I notice you say you are an arm amp so you probably have different issues to me as a leg amp.

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