Ah, the morning shower. Warm water to get the kinks out, bright overhead heat lamps to help wake me up, and the daily question: shampoo & condition or just rinse & condition?
To explain: I have naturally curly hair, which is also naturally fragile hair, which I’ve made more fragile by coloring it. Some recommend that you don’t use shampoo at all, set it with clips, airdry, use a diffuser, et cetera. I could spend time and money straightening it, but frankly I don’t have the patience. My hair is a bit like my body in that it takes some specialized care, and I’m working with it instead of trying to negate it. ;)
But back to my shower. How does being very fat affect showering? My belly doesn’t just stick out – it also droops. So do… [hm, perhaps I should warn you that this is another frank post that may be a bit, oh, too much information for some folks...]
My breasts droop too. I do have a handheld showerhead, which makes it easier to rinse under my belly & the girls. Using fixed showerheads when traveling does take a bit longer to get everything positioned and rinsed correctly.
After showering and toweling off, I lie down on the bed, lift up my belly “overhang”, and make sure the underneath is dry. Then I sprinkle some talcum powder in the fold and brush it about to cover the skin. I usually brush some powder under my breasts and where my legs meet my torso, too. I try not to use too much – I still blush at memories of powder falling out on the bed with a new beau – but I definitely want enough that I can move freely without causing chafing.
Why do I do this? For years I had horrible yeast infections & jock itch in the folds of my skin. Especially under my belly, but also under my breasts and in the crotch. Not only were they icky and smelly, but at their worst they’d provide a constant level of pain whenever I moved, which resulted in me limiting my mobility. I do keep Lotramin spray & powder on hand to deal with the occasional flare-up, but the talc is the best preventative I’ve found.
After ensuring that my underbelly will remain dry, I wash my hands and get out the moisturizer. I’ve had dry skin since I was a child – one of my earliest memories is feeling a parent’s warm hands rubbing moisturizer into my back. Wiping moisturizer onto my arms, breasts, belly and legs not only prevents itching (ick!) but is an act of self-care. (I also massage moisturizer into my feet before putting on socks. My feet work hard & I like them!)
Then it’s time to start fiddling with my hair. :)
Updates and more info:
In July 2009, Well-Rounded Mama posted a much more in-depth discussion of jock itch, skin yeast, and related infections and their treatments.
On the more serious end, Skin Integrity in Critically Ill Obese Patients discusses the care of skin, wounds, and so on when immobilized due to critical illness or surgery.