Tips for keeping cool and reducing incidence of lymphedema swelling.
- Keep cool, stay within air conditioned areas when possible. Wear a compression garment that is lightweight and breathable.
- Stay hydrated, drink lots of water.
- Avoid excessive intake of salty foods.
- Wear loose, flowing and non-constrictive clothing, jewelry and bags.
- Keep your affected limb dry, excess moisture trapped between the skin and compression garment can promote bacterial growth and may risk infection. Wear a compression garment with moisture wicking to reduce moisture build up.
- Keep your affected limb moisturized, chlorine exposure from the swimming pool can dry out the skin & cause breakage, which can allow bacteria to enter and potentially cause infection. If possible, use a pH neutral moisturizer.
- Avoid sunburns, which can increase swelling and agitate lymphedema. Use a sunscreen with 30+ SPF.
- Wear a compression garment during outdoor activities such as gardening, playing sports and hiking. When gardening, be sure to wear protective gloves to reduce incidence of cuts and scrapes.
- Avoid bug bites. Use bug spray (DEET-free if possible). In case of a bite, treat the area immediately.
- When traveling and sitting for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move your affected limb. If traveling by airplane, be sure to wear a well fitted compression garment.