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Open dislocation of ankle. Skin starting to peel, lotion not absorbed. Normal when foot is bandaged?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9091 Questions
My husband suffered a open fracture/disclocation of his left anke nearly five weeks ago, as a result of being side-swiped by a car. He has had an external fixator on since Nov. 1, and it is scheduled to be removed on Dec.13. In the past two days, however, the skin of his foot looks sunburned and is starting to peel on the top. I had put a hand lotion on it yesterday, and you can see that it still has not been fully absorbed. Is this a normal reaction to having your foot immobilized and wrapped with ace bandages?
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Dry Skin
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 47 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
Dry skin and dermatitis is commonly seen in an immobilized limb due to poor skin circulation as a result of disuse.
Applying petroleum jelly regularly and massaging gently will help in restoring the normal skin in 10-15 days.
Do not worry. These skin changes are completely reversible.
I hope this answers your query effectively.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
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