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Prosthetic Fashion Statement 


With prosthetics and amputees taking on a greater presence in the media, many amputees are feeling more comfortable in the public eye.  With this sense of comfort, some prosthetic users are even rethinking the objective of ‘fitting in’, opting to make their prosthetic devices stand out even more.  Manufacturers and prosthetic facilities are following suit by offering amputees more choices in cosmetic finishing. 

 
Exposed Components
 
Many amputees prefer to use prosthetic devices without realistic cosmetic finishing.  This is more common with lower extremity prostheses.  Here, the mechanical inner components of a prosthesis will be exposed.  There is a more practical reason to do this, being that a prosthetist will have easier access to the mechanical components for adjustments, or to switch out components.  The downside is that the components are exposed to the elements and some prosthetic parts can cause minor damage to furniture.
 
Prosthetic Tattoos
 
Fake tattoos can be incorporated into custom spray skins in a number of ways.  A custom spray skin is applied over a custom foam cover for a below knee or above knee prosthesis.  This spray skin is a type of liquid rubber-like material that is sprayed onto a prosthetic foam cover using an airbrush gun.  A tattoo design printed on a transparency can be adhered between layers of spray skin.  This works particularly well with silicone skins.  Another option is to have the artist paint the tattoo directly onto the prosthetic skin.  The artist must take care to use materials that will not conflict with the spray skin.
 
Colorful Sleeves
 
Decorative suspension sleeves can be used with upper extremity and below the knee prosthetic deigns.  These sleeves are worn on the outside of the prosthesis, at the transition line (at the knee for below the knee amputees or at the elbow for below the elbow amputees).    
 
Design Lamination
 
Many prosthetic sockets (both upper and lower extremity) include a rigid outer frame composed of carbon fiber material.  Typically, this material is tinted to somewhat match the prosthetic user’s own skin tone.  This material can actually be tinted any color.  Photographs, stickers, or other designs can also be laminated into the carbon lamination layers. 
 
Custom Spray Skins
 
Custom spray skins are usually fabricated to match the user’s contralateral (sound limb) as closely as possible.  However, like the carbon fiber lamination, custom spray skins can be made in any color.

 



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