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Can anyone suggest an easy to use, not too tight, forearm and elbow protector that could be worn comfortably most of the day. My (81) year old wife , with Alzheimer’s, has skin in this area that is tissue paper thin. More than once, it has rubbed against something, sometimes me, and the top layer just peels off. VERY slow to heal after such occurrences.

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My father wore Posey SkinSleeves brand arm protectors. The kind he wore were non-compression and went from his hand to past his elbow. He had the same problem as your wife, very thin easily torn skin.
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I have an actual ALOE PLANT in my yard. I snap a piece weekly and take to my visit with my sister. I peel it and rub the gel over any scratch, etc. The healing power of this plant source is amazing. I also used it as a Camp Nurse for kids. Powerful!!!
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There is a transparent dressing called Tegaderm, that is available by prescription, but I also found this over the counter brand. It is a clear skin covering. However I like the idea better of the Posey SkinSleeves. For showering though, the Tegaderm is waterproof and can be kept on. When I was a hospice volunteer, they kept them on patients for weeks at a time. Lotion will not help.
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I posed the original question here and I want to personally thank each and every answer. Most were very helpful. We moisturize my wife every morning but that doesn’t prevent the layer under the skin from going away with age.
The person that said long sleeve shirts might only hide the problem is absolutely correct. My wife’s latest tear occurred during the course of her day and we didn’t see it until getting her ready for bed that night.
But she does wear long sleeves anyway-for one, she always preferred long sleeves so I keep it that way, and two, we use loose fitting polyester moisture wicking athletic tee shirts from JoesUSA.com and they aren’t hot even here in Houston.
I followed the advice to use thick cotton tube socks with the toe cut out, at least temporarily, until I can check out the Posey Arm Skin protectors.
I’ll also second the suggestion of the use of Tegaderm once you have a wound. That can be purchased in 2” x 11yd rolls on Amazon at a fraction of the drug store price. It is amazing and can actually be applied over open wounds, per my wife’s wound care doctor, but on small wounds he recommended using Ferris’ polyderm foam pad, then hold on place with Tegaderm. And as someone pointed out, it stays in place with washing, etc and really does not tear even fragile areas if removed very slowly and holding the skin down underneath with your other hand. The Tegaderm is like a second skin. It is an extremely thin film. This combo has allowed two pressure sores that she had to heal very nicely.
And while I’m on a roll, since we went to the ROHO air seat cushions and an alternating low pressure air mattress topper ( made by Drive and costs less than $100) we have had no more pressure sores. Her wound care doctor said the alternating pressure mattress topper/ whisper quiet air pump system is the absolute best way to prevent pressure sores in bed.
Thanks again for all the good answers.
Big Jim M
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When my bedridden husband developed a sore on his elbow, Hospice ordered a padded heel raiser(protector) that worked beautifully for his elbow and forearm, It's very heavily padded, light blue in color and it's from Medline. Here's the number that I got off it, in case you want to order. MDT823296.
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There used to be a product called heelbows that we used in my hospital years ago. Like socks with no bottom they slipped over. I have seen people USE socks on people with very thin arms, cut the toe on and slip them over. This was a huge problem for all of us, one we never found an answer to. We would put something on and it would come off with bending and activity almost at once. Things would be too tight or too loose. Patients were using elbows and heel to try to move up and down, sheet were so harshly washed that they were like sandpaper, and the skin so fragile.I hope someone has good ideas for you.
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My dad had the same problem -- he'd brush up against the wall, and it'd be a bloodbath.

We never found anything to help, and no, moisturizers will not do anything. Obviously try to avoid putting band-aids on the tears, as the adhesive will tear the skin when you take it off.

I really like the idea below that suggests cutting the foot off socks to use as sleeves. I'd give that a try.
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I don't know if it would help you or not as everyone's skin is different. My husband uses a sleeve with a hole for fingers and one for his thumb. They are yellow Kevlar cut resistant sleeves 22 inches long. They are designed to help people who work in the industry. He gets them from MSC at mscdirect.com part number 89704522.

It just dawned on me that maybe I shouldn't mention where they come from. But, they are industrial, not medical so I thought people might not know where to get them.
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We (I am an RN) used to use tegaderm on skin tears but taking if off can sometimes cause another tear. Please consider any "long sleeve" type covering to protect her fragile skin. When she does have a skin tear, use triple antibiotic ointment, nonstick bandage pads, and rolled gauze to hold it in place. Avoid using anything adhesive right on the skin. Some folks like the "athletic tape" that sticks to itself, but I am not fan of tape going around a body part -- too concerned it may decrease blood circulation.
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gdaughter Sep 15, 2020
There are SO many different kinds of tape out there now, and "athletic tape" is also known as one that has adhesive as strong as duct tape. The tape you are referring to, the name is escaping me in people terms, but in vet med it is known as vet rap. The adhesive is similar to that in a post it note, and while it could be applied tight, it can also hold looser I would think. But I do think keeping adhesive off of fragile skin is the best way to go. There also is great tape called KIND made by 3M that seems far more gentle and does not stick to hair...I discovered it after my 100 year old father had cataract surgery and had an IV and a nurse who thought the best way to take the tape off was to rip it off. It is not cheap, but by time he went back for the 2nd eye, fearful of the tape episode (in light of life-long hairy arms), I had it and they happily took it to use to secure the IV line.
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Our mother had very thin skin especially on her arms. What I used on her elbows. I cut a white sock the tube part and slipped them up her arms. This was very helpful.
Its very important to be careful when you help your loved one get to their feet. Put your hands on their elbows and have them grab your arms at your elbows.
Hope this is helpful. 🌸❤️🌸
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