OTHER SKIN PROBLEMS

Published: June 3, 2006
105

OTHER SKIN PROBLEMS IN SCI

Problem/Location Signs/Cause DO DO NOT
Rashes
Where skin comes in contact with skin, (e.g., groin, armpits, under breasts)
Pimples, red blotches due toMoisture and lack of air. Keep area clean and dry. Allow air to reach rash area.If no improvement in a couple of days, see doctor. Apply ointment or powder unless ordered by your doctor.
Frostbite
(Usually fingers and toes)
Skin turns pale or white then turns red due toCombination of loss of sensation & extreme cold. Wear warm footwear and gloves in cold weather as preventive measure.If it occurs, put part in lukewarm water and call doctor immediately. Stay out in cold too long.
Burns
Anywhere
Redness of skin or blisters, due to:

Cigarettes (from ashes you can’t feel).

Hot water pipes/ radiator/car heater/car upholstery.

Bathing/hot water.

Hot liquids/pots/pans.

Hot water bottles/ heating pads/heating lamps.

Always wear shoes in car; wrap exposed pipes under sink with insulating material; keep car heating system in good working order; if car seat is too warm, sit on your own cushion or sheepskin.

Test shower or bath water or have someone do it for you; use care in handling hot liquids and cooking utensils; use wooden tray to move hot objects.

Set ashtray on your lap.Carry cups or hot liquids on lap or between legs.

Use even on areas with sensation; they could slip down and cause a burn.

CALL YOUR DOCTOR APPLY COLD WATER FOR 30 MINUTES APPLY OINTMENTS OR MEDICINES UNLESS PRESCRIBED
Bruises
(Anywhere)
Redness or blush tinge to skin, due toCareless transferring & turning (if swelling is present, there may be a fracture). Never let anyone pull your bare skin across a sheet.
Friction Burn
(Ischium or sacrum)
Redness – skin scraped off. Wear clothing when transferring with sliding boards.
Blisters Leg Bag straps may be too tight; may signal start of Pressure Sore. Never pick off dry, flaky skin.
Foot Problems
(Feet are a likely place for problems, farthest from the heart, so circulation is less efficient)
Dry, scaly skin due toNot enough circulation or air to feet. Keep very clean.

Soak in warm water then remove dead skin with pumice stone or gentle brush.

Put bath oil in water to help moisturize.

Apply lanolin, lotion or corn oil to keep skin lubricated.

Ingrown Toenails
(Usually on large toe)
Redness, increased warmth, drainage, swelling around toenail due to

Toenails cut too short or rounded in corners.

Cut toenails straight across (don’t trim corners). Call doctor if you notice swel- ling, redness, warmth and drainage around nail.

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