With COVID-19 impacting many NHS resources, many of you may have been encouraged to take care of your leg wound or lower limb condition from home. This type of self care may include washing your limb, increasing your skin care routine, and applying your own compression socks, compression stockings, or wrap system.
Director of Lower Limb Consultancy Services Ltd, and Honorary Tissue Viability Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Andy Kerr, talks us through his top tips for caring for your legs at home during the pandemic:
- First up soak your leg in a clean (plastic-lined) bowl of warm but not hot water.
- Use a soap substitute such as a non-perfumed emollient to cleanse your leg.
- Remove any dry skin scales gently and allow emollients to moisturise the skin for 10 minutes. You should apply this at least daily and remember to always apply in line with the hair growth to avoid inflammation of the hair follicles.
- You can also use products such as Debrisoft to gently remove dry skin, speak to you healthcare professional if you would like further information.
- Thoroughly but gently dry the limb, particularly between the toes.
- Use this time to check your legs for any changes including breaks in the skin, change in foot colour, excessive itching and the condition of your feet and toenails. *If new broken areas are not improving within 2 weeks, you should contact your GP or healthcare professional for advice.
- Elevate your legs whilst they dry.
- Remember to apply your compression as soon as your leg is completely dry.
When checking your legs its important to look out for any 'red flags' like the changes above. If you notice any of these red flags you should contact your healthcare professional immediately. Download your copy of the red flags card.
Together with Clinician, Alison Schofield, we have created some step-by-step videos on self-caring for your wound and legs whilst at home. Including; washing your limb, changing your dressing, applying compression and more.
Visit our YouTube Channel to view these videos.