Buttonhole questions

Hi, I was just wanting to ask a question about buttonhole.
When you pull of the scab, there is a track. Once your past the track what is between your vein and the outside world?

For example, if you go swimming and the scab falls off, what is between your vein ( inside of your body) and the water. Can’t the water get in, if not in your vein, then into your body therefore risking infection, possibly in the track or just under the skin layers of your arm?

cheers Queenie.

Supposedly, the scab should be strong enough to keep it sealed, but sometimes they do fall as that has happened to me and I do think there’s some risk of infection …ONLY IF IT BLEEDS A LITTLE AFTER SCAB FALLS OFF…However, the tunnels are sealed with blood clot so you will not bleed insanely…

To prevent scabs from falling I would need to wear bandaids or bandage a little longer than usual so that the scabs can settle in well…

I thought I read that there is less chance of infection with the bhs. So which is it- more or less chance with bhs over steppladder method? With stepladder we swim all the time, no problems whatsoever.

It’s true, no infections whatsoever, I haven’t had any yet and I swim and get wet all the time…

I’ve never had an infection in 4 years of hemodialysis (Touch wood!)… but I’m not sure I would say anything about buttonholes and infection. I don’t see why they would be any different than sharp needles in that regard. My only claim about buttonholes is that they make the job of dialyzing at home easier, safer and more predictable than if I had to do it with sharp needles. I don’t think daily nocturnal hemo would even be possible with only sharps and the stepladder method.

I would even suspect that there is a greater chance of superficial infection with buttonholes if you’re not careful, since they never really heal. On the other hand, as long as you’re not bleeding, then you have a good plug in there, and it’s not going to get infected by swimming - although I personally wouldn’t swim in any of the inland freshwater beaches we have around here.


Hi Queenie
Buttonholes and swimming are 2 topics close to my heart :lol: I think it might depend how often you are using your buttonholes (for me 4x week) and whether you are a good healer. I find going in the ocean gives me a lovely scab that comes off in one piece very easily. (I always wait at least 8 hours before dipping after using my buttonholes, nobody told me that, that just seems to be a good time). Not very keen on Public pools but a home pool seems fine.
I sometimes think I should just dip my arm in the salt water even if i am not going for a swim. When I do consecutive nights I don’t have much of a clean scab but it always seems well healed.
Cheers 8)

What do your nephs and nurse trainers instruct on the subject of bh and swimming? Don’t know if ocean water is considered clean or not, but it is so healing to be in, like to think it is good for us.

Swimming is no problem with buttonholes, as long as you dont go swimming in any murky rivers. Buttonholes heal up pretty quickly if they are not being used, so in between treatments they are pretty well sealed with clotted blood, and the tunnel closes off slightly.
I go swimming at the beach and in pools and I always have a good shower when I get home.
Swimming is good for getting the scabs off. If I go swimming on the day I am due to dialyse that night, I have no scab, which makes things easier for me!

They actually told me at the unit to leave 4 hours between coming off the beast & going in the briny. Well…I’m usually too stuffed anyway, to even think about going. I guess in the summer, I might jump in the pool by mid-morning, but I’m not considering going surfing again, until I get a protective sleeve made.

Hmm well no one told me that :?
I wouldnt be going swimming in the first few hours anyway, or if at all the day after, Im too tired too.
In summer if Im home by myself I just live in a big towel, and jump in a cold shower for a few seconds when i start getting too hot.

Have been on nocturnal now for a year I always use sure seal bandaids which I keep on til the next run . I also squirt some water under the bandaid maybe 4 hours before the next run . there is never a scab to be seen and never had a problem with any infections at all

Skinner wrote:

Have been on nocturnal now for a year I always use sure seal bandaids which I keep on til the next run . I also squirt some water under the bandaid maybe 4 hours before the next run . there is never a scab to be seen and never had a problem with any infections at all

Is this your idea or the way you were trained?

I dont leave wet bandaids on for any amount of time, its a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Here, we’re trained to leave the gauze and tape on the needle sites for 4 hours, but I usually take them off after 3. I think it would prevent whatever healing takes place over the day if I were to leave the tape on all day, not to mention that any tape can be hard on the skin. I suspect that it might in fact promote infection.

I take the tape off after a few hours or sometimes after an hour. The longer I leave it on the more irritated my skin gets. Yesterday I had red welts and broken skin just from scratching. I would definitely not be squirting water under gauze, which then warms up if left on. Water is a major carrier of harmful bugs, and the warmth of your skin provides an optimal moist breeding environment.

I usually just have a shower right before I put my needles in, which softens the plugs and makes it easier to get them off. Otherwise I just wet them with the alcowipes if they are being pesky to get off.