Self-Management

Research has identified early detection and treatment of lymphoedema may minimise lymphoedema and provide the best results. Therefore, it is important to look after the affected body part promptly.

Self-management techniques:
 

• Maintain a healthy weight.
 

• Look after your skin, keep it moisturised as your skin is the first barrier to infection.
 

• If it is possible, and there is an alternative, avoid medical procedures on the affected limb – such as injections or intravenous (IV) lines and fluids.
 

• Undertake a graduated exercise program, such as walking and/or hydrotherapy.

 

• If you have been prescribed a compression garment, wear it as recommended by your health professional including during exercise, but it does not need to be worn when exercising in water.
 

• If flying or travelling long distances, gentle exercises conducted periodically during the journey are recommended.
 

What do you need to avoid?
 

• Sunburn
 

• Cuts and scratches, insect bites, burns
 

• Tattoos to the affected limb
 

• Hot spas and saunas
 

• Long periods of inactivity.

Coping with lymphoedema
 

If you are diagnosed with lymphoedema it is not unusual to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Support through membership with LAQ can be beneficial through sharing with other people who are living with this condition. Sourcing a lymphoedema professional is also an important part of your personal journey. If you are concerned that you have lymphoedema see your GP or health care professional.

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