After a spinal cord injury, the nerves in the skin may not send messages to the brain to let you know that your skin is in trouble. For this reason, daily inspection of the skin is very important. By looking at your skin every day, problems will be caught early, before they become serious. Check your whole body, paying special attention to the bony areas, at least twice a day.
How often should you do a skin check?
- In the morning
- In the evening
- If there is a known problem area (such as an open area, bruise, cut, burn), check that area hourly.
How do I do a skin check?
- Gather your skin mirror.
- Hold mirror or have someone help you.
- Look at the front and back of your body from head to toe.
- Look for redness, swelling, bruises, cuts, burns, scabs, rashes, blisters, shiny or discolored spots.
- Feel over bony areas for swelling, raised, warm or hardened areas.
- Look at both sides of your body from head to toe.
- Check the skin more often if lying or sitting for long periods of time.
- Always check skin immediately after a fall or accident affecting any area with decreased feeling.
- Check known problem areas more than twice a day.
- Call the doctor if you notice any open areas, darkened, reddened areas, burns or blisters.
- Use your skin check worksheet when doing checks (found in ABI skin care section).