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Soaking in a tub and showering are not possible during this time, so sponge baths are a must.

Do not allow water or soap to enter the vest, as this can create a breeding ground for bacteria.

All exposed areas below and around the vest can be cleansed. A soft cloth can be used to remove any skin moisture around and underneath the vest edges.

Nothing should come between the skin and the sheepskin of the vest.

Avoid powders, talc, perfumes, lotions and ointments.

Hair care needs to be discussed with your doctor. Some doctors will allow certain types of hair care products, but others may ask that they be avoided.

Ask your physician if waterless shampoo can be used. If so, this can be purchased at your local pharmacy.

Pin Care

Cleansing pin sites is the number one precaution that families can take to avoid infection and pin loosening.

Inspection of the pins should become routine, preferably twice a day: once in the morning and again before bed.

The doctor will let you know which type of pin site care they recommend.

Many physicians will advise cleansing with half-strength hydrogen peroxide and normal saline using a clean cotton swab for each pin. Care should be taken to avoid redipping the used cotton swab into the cleaning solution.

Examine the pins for crusting, drainage, redness, tenderness or swelling. If these symptoms occur, notify your doctor immediately.

Skin Care

Make sure you check skin twice daily for any areas of redness, drainage or skin discoloration. This will require help from someone else.

Inspect all areas where the vest is located, especially where the vest edges meet the skin. A flashlight works very well in rooms with poor lighting.

Notify your doctor immediately if there are any areas of redness, drainage or skin discoloration. Also notify your doctor if there are any areas of rubbing because this can lead to skin breakdown.

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