Lymphedema is the medical term for abnormal swelling in one area of your body that is caused due to some problems of the lymphatic system. The swelling is a result of an unusual accumulation of the lymph fluid in the soft tissues, most commonly in the extremities such as arms and legs.
It is a chronic medical condition and delays or lack of treatment can lead to irreversible skin changes, difficult to heal wounds, frequent infections, and impaired mobility resulting in an overall drop in the overall health and quality of life.
Lymphedema patients are highly likely to develop wounds due to moisture build-up and fungal infection. As the swollen area is under extreme tension, even minor scratches that would otherwise health often turn into wounds and require special care.
For some patients, the lymph fluid tends to drain out from the wounds which not only slows down the healing process but also increases the risk of infections. Needless to say, it is essential to maintain hygiene and practice skin care to prevent the wound from getting worse and the condition from progressing to further health complications.
Skin Care Tips for Lymphedema Wounds
Skin is the body’s first line of defense against external pathogens. Any wound which is primarily a break or opening in the skin surface provides for easy entry of micro-organisms inside the body.
Delay or lack of lymphedema wound care can result in serious complications in the form of skin infections such as lymphangitis, cellulitis, lymphadenitis, and ulcerations.
Below mentioned are some quick tips for you to take good care of your skin and avoid skin infections that are known to cause other health complications:
- Always keep your extremities clean and dry
- Ensure to apply moisturizers to keep the area moist and avoid chapping. Do not use moisturizers that are scented.
- Avoid any injury or trauma to the affected area
- Take extra care while using razors for hair removal to prevent any cuts and bruises in the affected area
- Avoid skin punctures for injections or blood work
- Use sunscreens to avoid sunburns. Do not forget to use hot pads or oven mitts while cooking.
- Choose to visit a nail care specialist and avoid grooming your nails on your own
- Use a mosquito repellent to prevent bug bites
- Wear gloves or shoes while performing activities that can cause a skin injury
- If you get an injury, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water and then apply a moisturizer after drying the area
- Always observe your skin for any signs of infection
- If you notice any rash, redness, pain, or itching in the affected area or complain of worsening swelling, increased skin temperature, or fever and flu-like symptoms, consult a healthcare practitioner without any further delay
Tips for Lymphedema Wound Care
The main aim of lymphedema wound care is to reduce bacterial bioburden in the affected area. Following tips are sure to help you take care of lymphedema wounds effectively:
- Ensure to keep the wound covered with a clean and sterile dressing that is highly absorbent.
- Always keep the wound clean. Use tap water and a clean sterilized cotton cloth to slowly wipe off any discharge from the wound.
- Prevent bulky dressings as they make it difficult for you to use compressions garments. Ensure to change your dressing frequently.
- Do not use any antiseptic ointments on or around the wound
- It is a good idea to irrigate the wound with sterile saline water as that helps dislodge bacteria
- If you have swelling, it is best to keep your limbs elevated as a reduction in swelling is known to fasten up the healing process.
Lymphedema usually gets worse with time and you must never ignore the early symptoms. In case of an infection on the wound, you must seek immediate medical care to prevent further damage.
Dr. Rajah V Koppala is a well-qualified and highly experienced interventional radiologist with a known history of successful treatment procedures for lymphedema patients from across the World!
He specializes in the painless and minimally invasive non-surgical treatment of lymphedema for patients of all age groups. This treatment aims to drain out the accumulated lymph fluid thus offering immediate relief from swelling and discomfort.
He is currently practicing at Avis Hospitals which has state-of-the-art medical amenities and modern infrastructure to support world-class treatment and faster healing of all lymphedema patients.
Whether you are residing outside of Hyderabad in India or abroad, there are special arrangements for non-local patients as there is a dedicated team to take care of all your hotel reservations and flight bookings along with doctor appointments.
At Avis Hospitals, we also take care of your Mediclaim approvals and ensure faster processing from all national insurance agencies. You need not worry about cashless Mediclaim approvals as we are here to help you at each step of your treatment process!
Trust us to be the best healthcare providers for the cure of lymphedema and round-the-clock care of all patients. Undoubtedly, we are the best team for the quickest and most reliable treatment of lymphedema! Book your first consultation to learn more about the treatment procedure and understand the steps to complete recovery, book your consultation today!