Why is skin care so important?

Skin care is important because the skin is the largest organ of the human body.

For skin to protect the body, it must remain whole and intact. If you have Spina Bifida you are more likely to have skin problems. Some of the reasons for this are:

  • Limited muscle movement
  • Lack of feeling
  • Weak muscles
  • Poor circulation

Preventing skin breakdown is the first and most important thing you can do.

Daily routine skin care is the first line of defense:

  • Inspection of skin should include looking at feet, legs and buttock.
  • Use a mirror to check your back and buttock.
  • Looking for red spots or areas of breakdown.
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times.
  • Keeping hydrated can help the skin remain healthy (drink 6-8 glasses of water daily)
  • Taking a bath or shower daily. Check the water before getting in to make sure it is not too hot.
  • Using a moisturizer daily.
  • Changing out of wet or soiled pull-up or clothing immediately.
  • After soiling, wash skin with soap and water and apply a skin protecting cream.

What else can you do to help protect your skin?

  • Use an adequate cushion on all hard surfaces, especially your wheelchair if you have one.

  • Move your body around every 15 – 30 minutes. Shake your arms above your head. Lift yourself up in your wheelchair using your arms to lift you and shift your weight.

  • Inspect the skin after you remove your braces.

What marks should you look for?

  • Abrasions and blisters

  • Bruises and calluses

  • Red marks and rashes
  • Rug burns and sunburns

  • Pressure sores and scratches