The vacuum bell application time differs from person to person and depends on how sensitive your skin is. Applying the device to your chest is the only way you can know whether your skin is sensitive.
However, skin irritation isn’t something important to worry about. The skin heals very quickly, but the concave chest has the potential to harm your heart and lungs.
Vacuum Bell Skin Problems I Had
When I started the therapy, I had skin problems because I used it for more than two hours during the first week.
The upper levels of the skin became red, and tiny bubbles appeared on its surface. Also, some bruising could be visible, caused by blood being sucked into the upper layers of the skin.
That’s caused by applying too much pressure in the first couple of weeks. This will heal with time, but there are a few ways to speed up skin healing.
I had horrible skin irritation for a long time. That prevented me from applying the vacuum bell therapy daily. The redness will hardly disappear unless you interrupt the treatment for a few days until it heals.
Skin Moisturization Importance
At that time, I figured out that the problems were caused by skin dehydration. Moisturizing the damaged skin is obligatory. After each suction cup application, I treated the skin with moisturizing body milk once daily. After doing that, I didn’t have any skin complications.
What Helped Me Calm My Skin
I have always used pure almond body oil that my mother bought. I highly recommend L’Occitane Almond Body Oil. It works perfectly. That’s a great body oil to protect the skin from negative pressure.
Apply Penaten Cream from Germany at night. It contains zinc oxide, a protective coating for mild skin irritations. It also promotes the healing of chapped skin and diaper rashes.
Oral Supplements That Can Help
You can also take an oral supplement called Astaxanthin. An antioxidant is said to have many health benefits taken with Phospholipids (krill oil). This speeds up skin healing and increases skin thickness, flexibility, and water retention.
Astaxanthin is a natural sunscreen that protects your skin from harmful UV radiation. It is proven to make your skin darker when you’re taking it. It is a raw food colorant that works inside out.
Before taking this supplement, it is recommended to consult with your primary physician.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It is responsible for the skin's structure, stability, and strength. Sufficient intake helps in proper skin repair. It can be taken as a supplement in the form of gel pills.
Intake of vitamins is essential not only for your skin health but also for your overall well-being. According to Healthline, the four best vitamins for your skin are C, D, E, and K. Make sure you get enough of these four vitamins.
What to Do If Blisters Appear?
This problem occurs when you vacuum too harshly, without a gradual progression. Remember to start lightly and increase the vacuum over time. I experienced blisters three times during my therapy.
It is ideal to leave the blisters to heal alone without popping them. Most of the time, they disappear after 2-7 days, depending on their size. Usually, the blisters are filled with liquid.
Don’t Pop Them
I used to cut and drain them with a clean fingernail. Then I disinfected them with Ethanol. After that, I applied chamomile.
The alcohol works as a disinfectant, and the chamomile mixture is anti-inflammatory. However, popping, especially with fingernails, isn’t recommended.
Allow the Sores and Blisters to Heal
Just in case, you should continue the vacuum bell therapy only when the sores are healed. If you continue to use the vacuum bell while the blisters are unhealed, there is a high chance of putting new secretions into the skin sore.
Don’t be concerned about the few day’s break. The indentation will stabilize again, and the chest elevation will last longer.
How to Deal With Itching
Itching during vacuum bell therapy is very unpleasant. It usually happened during the hot summer days while my body was sweating excessively. I found a simple way to deal with this irritating itching.
Before applying the suction cup:
- Massage your itching area with a towel soaked in hot water
- Use a dry cloth to absorb the water off your chest
- Use a hair-blower to dry the area thoroughly
- Make sure the vacuum bell is clean.
Shave Off Chest Hair
I have a lot of chest hair, so I had to shave it off because it prolonged the skin-drying process. The hair also caused me to itch and obstructed the vacuum bell seal.
Make sure that everything is dry before applying the VB. The massage promotes blood flow to the nerve endings responsible for the itching. This stops skin irritation.
Use a Hair Dryer On the Chest Before Applying
I learned this method from a fellow pectus excavatum sufferer, who used the vacuum bell therapy for several months. At first, the vacuum caused him excessive redness, rough, scaly skin, and even blisters.
He was in pain. However, he managed to find a solution to this. He didn’t give up on the vacuum bell therapy and could correct his 3 cm deep inverted chest.
Before putting the vacuum bell on, make sure its silicone ring is dehydrated using a hairdryer. Also, make sure your chest skin is dry too. Using a hair blow dryer to dry the area quickly is best. After doing this, expect the redness and other skin problems to disappear in a few days.
After doing the hairdryer trick, he wore the vacuum bell for 5 hours on average.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of your skin while doing vacuum bell therapy will minimize itching, redness, and other side effects on the skin while using the device.
You can take medications, vitamins, moisturizing creams, and gels to soothe the skin. Don’t worry if skin problems occur. These can be managed efficiently by following the tips I mentioned in this article. Thank you for reading!