How to Help Prevent Lymphedema Part 2



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Today, we want to give you some important guidelines to follow in a continuing effort to avoid or prevent lymphedema, as much as possible. You might be surprised that some basic awareness and concerted, proactive behaviors can go a long way in this important conflict. Write these down, or copy/paste them to a document you can print off and tape these to your refrigerator and one to your bathroom mirror!


Avoid infections

  • Wear gloves while doing housework or gardening.
  • Avoid activities that could cause cuts or scratches to skin. Take care in cutting your nails.
  • Pay extra special attention to washing your hands to maintain cleanliness.
  • Also protect your skin from other abrasions such as burns.
  • Use insect repellents to prevent bites.
  • Immediately report any signs of infection to your doctor.

Watch out for:

  • Fever close to 101 degrees, sweats/chills, pain, tenderness, swelling of incision site, or if it’s red and oozes; cuts that don’t heal;
  • Flu-like symptoms: sore, scratchy or painful throat also while swallowing, sinus pain/pressure; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • White patches on tongue or in mouth.
  • Painful or difficult urination.
  • Bloody, cloudy, or pungent smelling urine.

Avoid tight clothing, shoes, or jewelry

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes, open-toed sandals. Check with a doctor about wearing specific, medical-grade recovery garments or bras.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or repetitive, strenuous activities like you’d encounter doing cleaning, etc.
  • Thoroughly dry off after bathing, including bends in joints and other folds in your skin, or hard-to-reach spots; consider using your blow dryer on gentle, warm air to help with this. Use two towels.
  • Avoid involving affected arm in actions like injections, taking of blood pressure, etc.

In short: TAKE IT EASY on yourself, but most especially, your affected arm!