Sebastian, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/21/2014 -- Lymphedema can be a distressing side effect of breast cancer and its treatment. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lymphedema, it's critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment.
However, you don’t have to skip the season because of your condition. Here are some helpful advices to keep you from infection or injuries that may expose you to a higher risk of having one.
Gentle exercise such as swimming or walking will keep your joints agile and is very important to lymph damage. It is vital to build up exercises gradually so a short walk along the beach would be perfect!
Look after the skin of your “at risk” arm. Avoid using soap that can dry your skin. Moisturize! Any moisturizer that can keep your skin from being dry and flaky can be used. Don’t get sun burnt! Use an SPF15 sunscreen or higher. Apply sunscreen even under your clothing to avoid the risk.
Need a massage? Avoid having a deep tissue massage unless the practitioner is trained to work with people of the same condition. A lot of organizations are giving manual lymphatic drainage certification to practitioners so seeking for professionals is handy.
Avoid having cuts, scratches, insect bites and biting your nails for it will allow bacteria to enter and cause infection. Wear protective gloves and use insect repellent when needed.
When removing unwanted hair from your armpit, a well maintained electric razor is the safest method. Waxing is NOT an option. Hair removal cream can be used with caution. Check for skin reactions. Take care when applying the cream and always follow the instructions.
Refrain constriction around the arm and armpit from tight fitting bras and sleeves. Ensure that watches, bracelets and rings are not too tight.
Shopping? Try not to strain with activities such as pulling and pushing, or heavy lifting such as carrying heavy shopping bags. Avoid over-tiring your muscles and stop if you notice any pain or swelling.
During long journeys, gently exercise your arms. If you’re on a bus or train, don’t hold on with your “at risk” arm. Consider being fitted for a compression sleeve, though some specialists think that this precaution is unnecessary.
If travelling abroad, ask your doctor for prescribed antibiotics to take with you. This is helpful if you are going to a country where access to good quality healthcare is difficult.
There’s no reason not to enjoy the heat of the season. Wear your coolest sunglasses and frolic under the summer sun!
About the The Academy of Lymphatic Studies
The Academy of Lymphatic Studies provides education and training in Lymphedema Management. They are the leading school in the United States for lymphedema certification training for health care professionals in Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
The mission of the Academy of Lymphatic Studies is to promote high professional standards and the continuing professional competence of health care practitioners by promoting the quality and integrity of continuing education to practitioners in the field of lymphedema management.