It’s very important to take care of your skin and keep it clean to avoid skin irritation from a knee brace.
Knee braces are usually used for the recovery process or to treat discomfort from knee osteoarthritis. Athletes wear them to prevent injuries; some professionals use these braces to support their joints. Some people wear them all the time, and others use them when they feel pain in their knees.
Wearing braces for a long time can cause skin irritation if they’re not worn properly.
The most common symptoms include skin becoming red, a rash forming, and itching, numbness, and dryness in severe cases.
While wearing knee braces, you might have a natural urge to scratch your skin, which is a big NO. Knowing how to handle skincare before wearing knee braces is very important. In this article, we’ll outline the methods to prepare the skin before wearing knee braces and share some tips to avoid and reduce skin irritation from a knee brace.
Ways to Prepare the Skin for a Knee Brace and Prevent Skin Itching
Knee braces add another layer to the skin, so it’s vital to prepare your skin before putting on knee braces. The skin needs to be soft so the tissues can tolerate an extra layer on the body to prevent skin irritation.
The first step is to apply a moisturizer to the knee. You can use a non-greasy lotion which will prevent dryness or discomfort that might arise in the future.
Dermatologists also recommend using powder because it prevents sweat and rash.
It’s also crucial to keep the knee clean. Wash the area with warm water and a non-scented soap to avoid chemical reactions. After taking off the knee brace, scrub the skin area with an alcohol wipe to clean off sweat.
Choose the Right Knee Braces
Selecting the best clothing material for braces can help reduce skin irritation from knee braces. Several materials, like polyester or latex, can trigger a skin reaction.
The best type of material that you should opt for is wrinkle-free cotton. This particular clothing is best known for minimizing irritation or redness.
Regardless, always check for skin allergies before making a decision. The knee brace should not cause pain or blisters with redness on the skin. If these signs occur, you should consider changing your knee brace.
Put Cotton Between Skin and Knee Brace
You might have sensitive skin, so you’re more prone to skin irritation from all knee braces. Placing cotton between knee braces and the skin can help prevent skin conditions.
The urge to scratch or feel occasional discomfort can be avoided using soft cotton, which reduces skin irritation from knee braces.
How to Wear a Knee Brace Properly
There are various types of braces, but you can let your doctor decide which knee brace should be used depending on the injury and healing process. A tight knee brace can affect blood circulation, leading to severe pain and swelling.
Hence a poorly placed knee brace would do more harm.
Follow these tips to place a knee brace properly:
- Roll up the trousers above your knee.
- Depending on the type of brace, if it’s a slip-on one, then slide the foot on top of the brace and take it out through the bottom.
- Slide the brace up to the knee.
- Tighten it according to your comfort, and ensure it is not too tight that you have trouble walking. Similarly, it should not be so loose that the knee cap doesn’t provide support.
How to Take Care of the Knee Braces
If you’re wearing knee braces for the first day, put on the braces for just 2-3 hours. You can gradually increase the time to reduce irritation from knee braces.
If any redness or irritation occurs, wash the area with soap and water and contact your physician immediately.
- Carefully dry your skin after taking a shower
- Wash your braces after a couple of days
- A hairdryer in cooling mode can be used to dry the knee braces
- Do not expose the knee brace to harsh sunlight or salty water
Do Not Wear the Braces for Too Long
The main reason for wearing a knee brace is to let the muscles heal from injury and reduce pain. In other words, knee braces should reduce discomfort, not add to it.
If you feel that the knee brace is no longer providing relief or causing itching, it’s time to take the knee braces off and visit your physician.
Your doctor might suggest some knee exercises or decide to change the braces to reduce skin irritation. Wearing knee braces for a long time can reduce blood circulation and flow in the body. If you have undergone a surgical procedure, consult your healthcare provider before removing the knee braces.
When Should You Visit the Doctor?
The first reaction of most people when a skin rash occurs is to instantly get an off-the-counter ointment without consulting their healthcare provider on what should be done to reduce irritation from knee braces.
If any of the below symptoms occur, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.
- You have difficulty walking despite wearing a kneecap.
- There is a lot of pain and discomfort arising from the knee brace, which can be in the form of pressure on the knee.
- The area is red and bruised, which can also be followed by a rash being developed suddenly.
- Other body parts start hurting, such as the feet or the back.
- You have a powerful urge to scratch the area.
Get Rid of Skin Issues When Wearing Braces
We’ve shared a few tips and tricks on handling skin care to prevent and reduce skin irritation from knee braces.
Make sure the skin under the knee brace is dry and clean.
If you’re recovering from any injury and don’t know how to get rid of skin irritation from the knee brace, contact Align Clinic immediately. Our professional Orthotists will guide you about the next steps.