Protecting Your Skin While Using an AFO
Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) have become an important device for treating injuries and diseases affecting the lower parts of your body. Since an AFO will cover a significant part of your foot and stay on it for many hours, they are likely to affect your skin in the covered area. Therefore, you need to learn how to protect your skin from potential complications like blisters, redness, and rubbing that are common in patients wearing AFOs. But how do you protect your skin? Read on to learn the best ways of protecting your skin while using an AFO.
What Are AFOs?
AFOs are custom-built braces worn on the feet and lower legs to treat various diseases and injuries. This device is designed to cover your foot and control the movement of your ankle and foot, and;l.it also holds your ankle and foot in their natural positions to allow you to walk and stand comfortably. The L-shaped device is designed to protect your foot while recovering from ankle, heel, foot injuries, foot drop issues, and conditions like plantar fasciitis. An AFO can either have a joint at the ankle to allow your foot to move freely or be fixed entirely.
How to Protect Your Skin When Wearing AFOs
Modern AFOs are designed to fit snugly for a more effective biomechanical correction. Unfortunately, this has increased skin problems in the treated areas. This trend is a significant concern among medical experts, especially since people mainly wear these devices with type 2 diabetes, stroke, and peripheral neuropathy, making them highly susceptible to skin problems.
So, you need to take care of your skin when wearing these devices to avoid problems like diabetic ulcers, calluses, blisters, etc. The first step you should take to protect your skin is to keep your AFO clean all the time. Always wipe it with a clean piece of damp cloth, and don’t let it come into direct contact with sunlight. If possible, don’t wear your AFO in the rain because it’s not permeable. The water trapped inside the AFO might damage your skin.
Check your AFO regularly for damages and ensure its straps are working effectively. Don’t let your AFO come into direct contact with your skin. So, wear it with a sock, and don’t wear it for a long time without allowing your foot to breathe.