Maintaining Healthy Skin


Tips to maintaining skin integrity for wheelchair users

  • Completing daily skin inspection checks at prime areas (lower back, buttocks, and hips, back of knees, ankles, and heels).
  • Complete weight shifts in your wheelchair every 15-30 minutes and hold for at least 30-90 seconds. (Weight shifts can be completed by leaning forward on arms while resting in lap, leaning towards a side and resting arms on arm rest, or tilting chair backwards if using a power wheelchair.)
  • Keep skin clean and dry! Be sure skin in completely dry- check between your toes!
  • Make sure to moisturize dry, flaky skin.
  • Let your lotion completely dry before getting dressed.
  • Wash new clothes before wearing them.
  • Wear clothes with more breathable fabric. (Synthetic fabrics are more breathable than natural fabrics)
    • Synthetic Fabric- Nylon, Rayon, Acetate, Acrylic, Polyester, Spandex
    • Natural Fabric- Cotton, Linen, Wool, Silk
  • Avoid clothing that is too tight, or clothing with thick seams, pockets, buttons or rivets
  • If you are a full time wheelchair user, it is usually a good idea to wear shoes that are 1-2 sizes larger than your pre-injury shoe size to allow room for swelling.

By: Rachel Coley, OTR/L (not sure she has a headshot)

RWJBH Rehab at Pennington

Rachel is a Senior Occupational Therapist and works at the RWJBH Rehab at Pennington office. She has a special interest in the neurological population and Spinal Cord Injury.