- Keep skin clean and dry.
- Apply moisturiser daily. A low pH lotion or cream is best such as E45, Epimax or Eucerin.
- Keep nails short and clean.
- Avoid trimming cuticles.
- Use a natural insect repellent to protect from mosquito and insect bites.
- Use a natural sunscreen when in the sun for long periods of time.
- Take extra care with shaving and waxing. An electric shaver is best.
- Avoid injections and having blood drawn on the affected side if possible.
- Wear gloves when gardening, working with tools or chemicals.
- Wash and apply antiseptic ointment to any cut or injury to the skin. Observe the skin closely for infection.
- Contact your doctor or therapist immediately if you have skin redness that is warm to the touch, painful and spreading. And if you have headache, fever and flu-like symptoms – these are signs of possible cellulitis skin infection.
Lifestyle and Movement
- Focus on daily activity and gentle exercise. 30 minutes if possible.
- Build up the duration and intensity of your exercise gradually.
- Take frequent rest periods and listen to your body.
- Monitor the affected arm or leg to note any changes before an after exercise.
- Be extra careful with maintaining a healthy weight.
- Educate yourself about healthy food choices.
Avoid Limb Constriction
- Avoid, if possible, having a blood pressure cuff applied to the affected arm. And where possible ask for the manual cuff as it exerts less pressure than the automatic blood pressure machines.
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing.
- Don’t allow elastic or hairbands to dig into the skin of the affected area.
- Rings, watches and bracelets should not leave marks on the skin.
- Recent studies have shown that a Class 1 compression armsleeve worn post breast cancer surgery has a protective and lymphedema preventative function. To read the study –> Study Breast Cancer Patients wearing arm sleeves
- All compression should be comfortable and well fitted.
Extremes of Temperature
- Avoid extreme cold and extreme hot. Both can irritate the lymphatic system.
- Keep baths to very warm rather than hot water that causes redness to the skin.
- Do not apply ice packs directly to the affected area. A cloth submerged in cool water is better.
- Be careful when using hot or cold cream rubs and gels.
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