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How can a patient prevent skin irritation?

In our clinical experience most patients can use FES regularly without any problems with their skin.  A small number of patients (about 2%) can have some skin irritation problems.  In order to avoid skin problems beneath the electrodes it s good practice to educate your patients in how to look after their skin and electrodes as follows:


  • Keep skin clean
  • Do not shave the skin, trim hairs with a beard trimmer
  • Avoid long hot baths using bubble bath, try using soap free cleansers
  • If moisturising apply at night and wipe off in morning


  • Use electrodes as recommended by OML
  • Clean electrodes with water after each use
  • Replace electrodes, approx. every month

If you feel your patients are particularly at risk of skin irritation try setting them up with symmetrical waveforrm.  This reduces the concentration of stimulation over the active electrode and can help with skin problems.

For further information on skin irritation advice click on links below:

Skin irritation information sheet for clinicians

Skin irritation case study