- Keep feet, lower extremities, garments and socks clean.
- Before cutting toenails, soak in lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes.
- Trim nails carefully. If you have a problem trimming your toenails you should contact a podiatrist. Be sure to tell them you have lymphedema.
- Avoid cutting cuticles.
- Avoid over the counter medications for calluses and corns as they can burn the skin. Seek assistance from a podiatrist for these problems.
- Avoid walking in bare feet, sandals and open toed shoes.
- Always check feet and toes for cuts, scrapes or irritations that could turn into an infection.
- Wear comfortable, closed toe, proper fitting supporting shoes.
- Avoid hot tubs, saunas and hot baths.
- When seeing a podiatrist, make sure they are familiar with lymphedema or willing to further educate themselves on lymphedema. You may be the best person to explain it to them.
- Keep skin moisturized (not while wearing garments).
- Push cuticles back when grooming fingernails, avoid cutting them.
- Keep cuticles moist with cream (not while wearing closed hand/finger garment).
- Trim nails with care.
- Avoid getting manicures, artificial nails and wearing nail polish.
- Always check hands and fingers for cuts, scrapes, or irritations that could turn into an infection.
- Keep arm, hands and finger clean. Wash with a mild soap.
- Wear clean compression garments.
- Use rubber gloves when hand washing dishes or clothes.
- When doing outside work or gardening wear protective gloves.
- Avoid high heat saunas, hot tubs and hot baths.
- Avoid carrying heavy objects with affected arm.
- Avoid injections, blood work, and blood pressure cuffs on affected arm (if both arms are affected choose better limb or use leg, if not affected).
- Keep skin moisturized (not while wearing garments).
For more information on proper care of finger and toe nails visit lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/463/
Skin and Nail Care in Lymphedema Management-
For information please visit the NLN position paper on air travel
Air Travel and its Impact on Lymphedema (Video)
Lymphoedema and Air Travel: a Review
Aerobic Exercises for Lymphedema
National Cancer Institute – Treatment of Lymphedima – Exercise
Lymphedema People – Exercises for Lymphedema
Decongestive and Breathing Exercises
Aqua Lymphatic Therapy (ALT) The Tidhar Method (Dorit Tidhar, MScPT, Montreal, Quebec) An alternative approach to controlling lymphedema.
Exercise while sitting in a chair
Avoiding Lymphedema Or Keeping It In Check
Avoid Temperature Extremes
- hot baths, hot tubs and hot showers
- Turkish baths, saunas
- burns (cooking, smoking,sunburn)
- travel in hot or cold climates
- insect bites
- manicures and pedicures
- vaccinations, venipunctures or acupuncture in affected limb
- pet scratches
- skin punctures and cuts
- venography or lymphography on the affected limb
- gardening -wear gloves
Avoid Blunt Trauma
- lifting heavy objects
- tennis or golf
- blood pressure cuffs
- tight clothing, especially bra straps
- heavy breast prosthesis
- rings, watches, bracelets which could be constrictive
Source: Dr. Vodder’s brochure—more info vodderschool.com or navalt.org
Coping With Lymphedema
Lymphedema Psychological Coping-
Your Emotions and Self Image with Lymphedema-
- Overcoming the Emotional Challenges of Lymphedema –
Elizabeth McMahon, Ann Ehrlich
- Lymphedema: A Breast Cancer Patient’s Guide To Prevention And Healing –
Jeannie Burt& Gwen White, P.T
- Coping with Lymphedema –
Joan Swirsky, RN&Diane Sackett Nannery
- Living Well With Lymphedema –
Ann B. Ehrlich, Alma Vinje – Harrewijn, Elizabeth J. McMahon
- Foundations Of Manual Lymph Drainage –
Michael Foeldi MD, Roman Strossenreuther
- Lymphedema – Understanding and Managing Lymphedema After Cancer Treatment –
American Cancer Society and Sam Donaldson
- Voices of Lymphedema: stories, advice, and inspiration from patients and therapists –
Ann B. Ehrlich
- 100 Questions & Answers About Lymphedema –
Saskia R. J. Thiadens, Paula aj. Satewart, Nicole L. Stout
- Lymphedema Management: The Comprehensive Guide for Practitioners –
Joachim E. Zuther
- Lymphedema Caregiver’s Guide: Arranging and providing home care –
Mary Kathleen Kearse, Elizabeth Jone McMahon, Anne Ehrlich, Paula J. B. Stewart
- The Journey Surviving Breast Cancer And Managing Lymphedema –
Freda Whalen – Plues
- Foeldi’s Textbook of Lymphology: for physicians, and lymphedema therapists –
Michael Foeldi MD
- Lymphedema and Lipedema Nutrition Guide: foods, vitamins, minerals, and supplements – Chuck Ehrlich, Emily Iker, Karen Louise Herbst, Linda-Anne Kahn, Dorothy D. Sears, Mandy Kenyon, Elizabeth McMahon, Felicitie Daftuar
Free Online Mental Health Course
Hello, my name is Amber. I’m writing from the Online Therapy Unit at the University of Regina.
I wanted to let you know that we offer a free online mental health course to people with chronic health conditions. The course is a research project that employs Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques to address anxiety and depression symptoms resultant from a chronic condition, such as Lymphedema. I thought that many of the clients and people that you are in contact with could benefit from the knowledge and ideas presented in the course. There is more information on our website, including the specifics of eligibility to the research project: https://www.onlinetherapyuser.ca/chronic-conditions. Anyone is welcome to apply, and then book an appointment for a telephone screening call with one of our staff members, to determine if the course is a good fit for their situation.
Also, know that we can send out posters, or promotional cards for you to share with clients. And/or, one of our e-therapists, Lee Bourgeault, could visit you or a client group to give a presentation about the course, and this mode of therapy.
Please be in touch with any questions.
Clinical Research Associate