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Prosthesis and Residual Limb Sweating

Post limb amputation skin management can be a challenge for many patients. According to Dr. Colby Hansen’s article in inMotion Magazine (2020), a common cause of prosthesis discomfort and skin issues on a residual limb is sweating or residual limb hyperhidrosis and accumulation of too much moisture underneath the liner or socket. This sweating can occur at any level of amputation and at any time regardless of how long it has been since surgery and can affect anyone of any age.

Excessive sweating under a prosthesis can cause a wearer skin breakdown, reoccurring rashes, slippage of the prosthesis causing discomfort, and can also cause an unpleasant odor, and many are unaware that there are options to treat this issue.  Sweating occurs because the liners and socks worn under the socket can trap moisture, not allow the skin to breathe and traps in the sweat on the skin.

Dr. Hansen stated that patients will need different treatment and may need to use multiple options to reduce sweating.  However, a common first treatment is an over the counter and prescription-strength antiperspirant.  It is best for these products to be used in the evening and then washed off in the morning due to the alcohol base in these products, a common skin-irritating ingredient.

If antiperspirants or a combination of other treatments don’t help then a physician may consider botulinum toxin (Botox) injections.

Hansen, Colby. (2020).  Residual limb sweating: how to manage it. inMotion Magazine. Issue April 2020. (pg. 18-19). Retrieved from https://www.amputee-coalition.org/inmotion_online/inmotion-30-02-web/18/#zoom=z