Managing your lymphedema is a lifelong commitment. The best prescription for minimizing lymphedema’s impact on your life involves following your healthcare practitioner’s advice carefully and faithfully. For instance, most patients will be advised to wear an appropriate compression garment.
Patients diagnosed with arm lymphedema, for example, will typically be advised to buy and wear a compression sleeve featuring graduated compression. These medical-grade compression items are engineered to reduce fluid accumulation in your affected tissues, and to minimize the impact of lymphedema on your lifestyle.
The Importance of Skin Care for Lymphedema Patients
But other, less obvious lifestyle accommodations are also recommended. Taking special care of one’s skin, for example, becomes especially important when you are doing your best to control your lymphedema. Women who develop arm lymphedema subsequent to treatments such as radiation or surgery for breast cancer, may develop lymphedema in an affected arm, or arms.
In that instance it’s important to pay special attention to the underarm area, so as not to promote further irritation or inflammation. That’s because skin adjacent to an area affected by lymphedema may become tender, delicate and prone to dangerous bacterial or fungal infections. As summer approaches, and things heat up, this issue takes on added importance. Fragile skin can develop small cracks that could allow bacteria to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin.
For this reason, we recommend using an aluminum free deodorant; preferably a natural deodorant that is mild, yet effective. Aluminum salts have long been included as anti-perspirant ingredients in commercially prepared deodorant/anti-perspirant products. But research suggests these metallic compounds may be linked to the development or promotion of breast cancer; the last thing a breast cancer survivor needs. That’s why you should seek out an aluminum free deodorant.
Choosing the Right Deodorant for Your Condition
So what is the best deodorant to use for lymphedema patients? We recommend this custom-formulated product from Elite Therapeutics. Featuring natural ingredients and a mild, ultra-hydrating formula, this gentle, yet effective product is specially formulated to address the specific needs of lymphedema patients.
It’s made with soothing natural extracts, such as Lemon Tea Tree oil, and Lavender Tea Tree oil, and Biolin, a pre-biotic booster. This unique ingredient works to nurture beneficial skin bacteria, which in turn help minimize odors. Tea Tree essential oils, in turn, are effective natural microbe fighters, and antiseptics, and they may even help boost local immunity. They also help repel pest insects, such as biting flies and mosquitoes. Perhaps even better, these natural plant extracts feature delightful, delicate scents reminiscent of refreshing lemon and relaxing lavender.
Get the Protection You Need from Lymphedema Products
Skin care in general is an issue of concern for lymphedema patients because the surface of the skin is likely to become more fragile and delicate due to the lymphatic dysfunction occurring well below the surface. The skin of lymphedema patients is more prone to infections, and these infections must be avoided at all costs, lest your condition worsen and become less manageable. To that end, it’s helpful to invest in some specialized skin care products, designed with the support of delicate skin in mind.
As summer heats up, these issues come to the forefront. Lymphedema patients must take special care to keep their cool and avoid overheating, which can lead to excess swelling. Consider investing in a new set of compression garments for summer wear. We have a wide selection of products that help you keep your cool and stay comfortable, regardless of summer heat.