Tips For Lymphedema In Legs and Foot

If you recently had surgery, are receiving cancer treatment or have already been diagnosed with lymphedema, the following tips will help you lessen the risk of lymphedema or help to manage your existing lymphedema.

Lymphedema In Legs – Protect Your Affected Skin

One way to reduce the risk of worsening symptoms of lymphedema is to protect your skin from injury. This is because the cells that fight infection go to the injured area and cause swelling. Your legs may not be able to drain this added fluid.

Care for cuts and scratches:

  • Wash the area with mild soap and water.
  • Apply a first aid ointment to the area.
  • Cover it with a clean, dry gauze or a bandage (Band-Aid®).

Care for burns:

  • Wrap a cold pack in a towel and apply it to the burn for 15 minutes. You can also run cold water over the burn.
  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Apply a first aid ointment to the area.
  • Cover it with a clean, dry gauze or a bandage.

Look out for symptoms of infection, which include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Increased heat
  • Tenderness

If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor.

Don’t wear tight clothing:

  • Don’t wear clothing that is tight and leaves deep marks on your legs, such as socks or jogging pants with an elastic cuff. Wear loose clothing that doesn’t leave a mark on your legs.
  • Compression garments that are made to reduce swelling work differently. They provide even pressure and help carry fluid up the leg.

Avoid extreme temperatures:

  • Extreme heat and cold may cause fluid to build up in your leg and cause swelling. Avoid or limit your time in hot tubs and saunas.

Air Travel With Lymphedema In Legs

●     Cabin pressure. The cabin pressure in planes is usually a little less than the pressure on the ground. This can cause your skin to stretch and make fluid build up in your legs.

●     Sitting still for long periods of time. When you don’t move for a long time, fluid may start to build up in your legs.

●     Lifting and carrying luggage, which may stress your muscles.

●     Dehydration (when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs).

●     Ask for a seat with enough leg room, such as bulkhead seats.

●     Get up and walk up and down the aisle of the plane, if it’s easy to do so.

●     Do simple foot and ankle exercises while you’re sitting. Exercising throughout the flight will help with your circulation and movement of lymph fluid. You can try these exercises:

    • Point your toes towards the ceiling and then back down towards the floor.
    • Rotate your feet in circles and then reverse the direction.

●     Wear loose clothing.

●     Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.

●     Ask your doctor if you should have a prescription for antibiotics when you travel.

Other Ways To Reduce Your Risk:

●     Don’t have injections (shots) or acupuncture in the affected leg(s).

●     Don’t use sharp tools for pedicures. Use cuticle-removing cream and file your nails instead of cutting them.

●     Moisturize your skin often to prevent chapping and chafing.

●     Keep the area between your toes clean and dry to prevent infections.

●     Don’t walk barefoot.

●     Make sure your footwear fits you well to avoid blisters.

●     Make sure any toe rings or ankle bracelets fit loosely.

●     Try to avoid crossing your legs as much as possible.

●     Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to protect your skin from sunburns.

●     Try not to gain weight because it’s a risk factor for lymphedema. Try to lose weight, if you’re overweight.

●     Minimize your salt intake. Salt can cause swelling, which may overwhelm your lymphatic system.

Lymphedema Therapy Specialists

We are happy to serve you and all of your Lymphedema needs. We are located in central Houston, TX providing a convenient location for patients who reside in Houston or surrounding areas.

If you are looking for Lymphedema treatment in Houston, TX, contact us now!

We will do everything we can to treat you as soon as possible.

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