North Essex Lymphoedema Support Group

Lymphoedema Tips  January 2019

Never give up! And don’t say you can’t do anything…things might take longer as you may need to take regular breaks but you will get there in the end. You are the strongest person you know. You just don’t realise it.

•    Follow the advice given about compression garments and be disciplined even though it often feels such an effort. Re-align your garment throughout the day.
•    It’s ok to take the compression off in the evening and relax with your limb elevated. Move a little every 30 minutes or so if you can. It’s ok to go garment less if you have a special occasion such as a wedding for a few hours.
•    Keep wearing the garments throughout the day, hand wash them or machine wash but do not tumble dry them or use fabric conditioner.
•    If you are doing gardening or painting, or something which could pull on the garments wear an old one. If you are going swimming, where an old garment and get it wet.
•    Keep moisturising at night to keep the skin soft so that it does not get onto the garments you wear during the day.
•    Exercise really helps! Gentle water exercise, walking through water, swimming, aqua fitness, pilates, cycling, walking. Make use of fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal and Couch to 5K.
•    If you are overweight try to lose the excess weight. Healthy diets and weight management plans really work to reduce the volume of your affected limb. Many of the medications we are prescribed cause weight gain so we have to work harder than most to keep our weight as healthy as possible.
•    Keep the limb covered to reduce the chances of insect bites or injury. Apply insect repellent onto the garments and onto clothing.
•     Have a course of antibiotics prescribed as a prophylactics by your GP to carry with you when you travel outside your local area.
•    Treat any broken skin immediately with antiseptic cream and cover with a plaster if possible. If you feel unwell and your limb is red and hot, seek medical attention urgently.
•    In the summer keep garments in the fridge in a bag to make them cool in the heat. You can also keep your moisturising cream in the fridge. Wear loose fitting clothes that are comfortable.