Managing your Lymphedema

The swelling from Lymphedema in your arms or legs can cause troublesome symptoms that can be painful and restrict your lifestyle. While there is currently no cure for Lymphedema, it can be managed effectively.

Effective management of Lymphedema is a lifelong program of exercise, massage, compression, and careful skin care. You can develop basic habits and make purposeful lifestyle choices to help manage your symptoms.

  • Avoid the sauna or hot tub.
  • Do not use a chemical hair remover.
  • Use an electric razor to avoid cuts or nicks in your skin.
  • Make sure blood pressure and blood draws are taken from your unaffected limb.
  • When washing dishes or clothes, as well as cleaning or gardening, wear gloves to protect your hands from heat and potential trauma.
  • Protect your affected limb from the sun at all times.
  • When outdoors, apply sunscreen and insect repellent to your affected limb.
  • If your leg is affected, always wear closed-toe shoes.
  • Avoid heavy lifting with your affected limb; never carry a bag on that shoulder.
  • Do not restrict fluids or protein intake in an attempt to prevent fluid build-up.
  • Follow your prescribed regimen of evaluation, garment use and pump therapy.

Updated references 06/28/2019