Truthfully, no one ever wants to be told that their prosthesis stinks.
That being said, there are times when the prosthetic liners we use can develop an unpleasant odor.
Throw in heavy activity that is sweat inducing and odors can really begin to take over. In order to not repel everyone around us, we decided to post our ideas on this topic. It is embarrsasing to have this situation come up, but if you are unaware of this potential, the liner can become an issue in this regard.
Thankfully, there are many amputees we have spoken with that give us their ideas on this topic. They have tested and found solutions that have worked for them, to rid their liners and sockets of any unfavorable smells.
Let us start with a suggestion that is more of a natural, holistic approach since it seems to be what many folks are searching for now-a-days.
1.) ALUM is a food safe, astringent compound used in the pickling/canning process. It is also an ancient form of water purification. ALUM is also known for being antibacterial which pertains more to our subject of warding off liner odor issues. Purchase ALUM in crystal deodorant sticks or sprays for easy application. It can also be used in powder or liquid form.
2.) Some of the amputees that we have spoken to have also talked about tea tree oil. Deodorants with tea tree oil in them work wonders as well, according to some of the amputees we have heard from.
3.) Moving on to suggestions for cleansers, there were many supporters for Hibiclens which is an antiseptic that binds to the skin and provides a 24 hour layer of protection.
4.) Clorox solution of 10% Clorox to 90% water was recommended and backed by several others who swore this solution rid their liners of even the most intense odors that occurred.
5.) Even using alcohol wipes popped up as a method of odor reduction. Allowing the liner to soak in a mixture of laundry detergent and water, then placing it out to dry completely was a technique used by a self-proclaimed “heavy sweater” we spoke with as well.
6.) Applying an Apocrine solution from “The Liner Wand” to coat prosthetic liners works to disinfect and remove odor causing bacteria. A plus with this product was its ability to reduce skin irritation as well!
7.) Good ‘ol Febreze also made an appearance on the suggestion list as an easy, quick, efficient method to getting rid of prosthetic liner odor. Even a cleaning with a small amount of straight Lysol can be utilized to aid in ridding us of this “stinky” issue. Just make sure you talk with your prosthetist prior to using these ideas as they can potentially cause some skin issues for some amputees.
8.) Also volunteered, by one of the amputees we have been in contact with was the idea that Ottobock has developed a new silicone liner that contains “odor-minimizing antibacterial additives” while also delivering a world of movement comfort.
Remember good hygiene with regular cleansings of body and liners allows us to stay fresh and clean smelling all day long no matter what activities we find ourselves pursuing. Take the above suggestions from fellow prosthetic limb owners, try one, two or all and discover which one works best for you after talking with you prosthetist.
Please remember that this post and suggestions are health information only. You should consult your physician and local prosthetist for any and all medical advice as it pertains to your treatment.