Following the radiation treatment or surgery to remove lymph nodes, patients often end up developing lymphedema. Lymphedema is a condition that involves abnormal swelling, usually in the arms or the legs, due to accumulation of lymphatic fluids. This fluid buildup is the result of blockage or removal of lymph nodes or lymph vessels. Lymphedema is often associated with breast cancer patients but can be caused due to a treatment of other cancers, such as melanoma, prostate, or advanced gynaecological cancer.
In addition to discomfort, lymphedema can also lead to infection, as the fluid buildup can enhance the growth of bacteria. Hence, it is very much required to be attentive towards the symptoms, including pain, heat, swelling, rash blistering, redness, and fever. If you notice these symptoms, it is highly recommended to approach your physician. You can also lessen your lymphedema symptoms with compression or lymphedema arm sleeve.
Lymphedema Infection Prevention Techniques
Keep Your Arm and Leg Clean and Moisturize – Make skin and nail care high priorities. Inspect the skin on your arm or leg daily, watching for changes or breaks in your skin that could lead to infection. Don’t go barefoot. Do not miss to apply moisturizer over your arms and legs on a daily basis soon after taking bath or as many times you feel like.
Exercise Whenever Possible – Approach the Certified Lymphatic Therapist who will guide you through exercises that you should do daily. They will also help you determine what types of exercise your body can handle. Whenever it is possible, it is advisable that you elevate your affected limb above the level of your heart.
Protect Your Arms and Legs – Avoid injury to your affected limb. Cuts, scrapes and burns can invite infection. Protect yourself from sharp objects. For example, shave with an electric razor, wear gloves when you garden or cook, and use a thimble when you sew. If possible, avoid medical procedures, such as blood draws and vaccinations, in your affected limb.
Tips for the Management of Lymphedema – Wear Compression Sleeves
To get rid of breast cancer, radiation is used in the area. The lymph nodes in the underarm area are exposed to high levels of radiation, which causes them to stop producing lymph. Since the flow of lymph going throughout your arm is now disrupted, your arm will often start swelling up in a condition which is known as lymphedema. Although there is no known way to cure lymphedema, you can reduce the swelling and discomfort monumentally by wearing compression sleeves.
They fit tightly but comfortably to the arm, keeping down the swelling and ensuring that your arm stays in its proper shape while maintaining healthy circulation. The pressure that these sleeves exert on your arms helps keep lymph flowing smoothly from the remaining lymph nodes.
When you are about to engage in repetitive motions, such as exercise, cleaning, yard work, golfing or tennis, it is a good idea to wear a compression garment. Also, it is a good idea to talk with your Certified Lymphatic Therapist before participating in the aforementioned activities. It is also important to wear a compression garment when you are flying. The decrease in cabin pressure in the airplane puts stress on the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and this in turn, can increase swelling.
The lymphedema arm sleeve is made up of a few different materials, each of which is breathable and allows your skin to stay dry. Compression sleeves are now stylish and colorful!