The heat and humidity that comes with summer months can be very difficult for patients suffering with lymphedema. Care of lymphatic limbs during these hot months usually involves finding ways to reduce the swelling that is increased during warmer seasons. One of the best ways to reduce swelling is through the use of compression garments, like compression socks that reduce swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.
Unfortunately, the hot temperatures make compression garments more difficult to wear, resulting in non-compliance from those who suffer with lymphedema. This is not as much an issue when temperatures drop, but winter months do bring a different set of challenges for lymphedema sufferers. What are the best ways to deal with the challenges of colder weather that can affect lymphatic limbs, while still taking advantage of the benefits?
Get that Lymph Moving During Winter Months
Colder temperatures mean more time indoors. It seems much easier to stay inside where it is warm, than to get out and brave the cold weather. Getting outside is beneficial year round, even during winter months. Time outdoors is not only beneficial for your body, it works great for lifting your spirits as well. There will be days during this time of year, however, when it is simply too cold or the weather is too bad to spend any amount of time outdoors. Even when winter weather prohibits activities outdoors, movement remains vital for those dealing with lymphedema.
Before you begin any indoor exercise routine, it’s important to speak with your doctor and wear your compression garments. Some suggestions for exercising indoors during winter months include walking on a treadmill, simple stretches or yoga, and walking up and down the stairs. Whatever exercise you choose, remember to keep it in moderation, short duration, and low intensity.
Listen to Your Body
You know your body better than anyone. While it is important to keep moving during winter months, it’s just as important to listen to what your body is telling you. Be sure to do any activities you are not used to in moderation. Go slow, rest frequently, and allow your body time to recover. Pain, swelling, aches, or feelings of fullness or heaviness are all signs that you are pushing your body beyond its normal limitations. If any of these issues last more than a day or two, you should speak with your doctor.
Comfort and Protection
On days that you are able to get outside, it’s important to remember that dressing for safety is just as important as dressing for warmth. Just like extreme heat, excessive cold can worsen lymphedema symptoms. Clothing that is too tight can worsen lymphedema, so layering clothing is the best way to stay warm without restricting limbs. It’s also important to wear appropriate footwear to prevent slips and falls.
Winter Skin Care
Dry indoor heat during winter months can lead to dry, itchy, cracked, or bleeding skin – especially for those who suffer with lymphedema. Always use a good quality moisturizing soap when showering or bathing. Be sure to thoroughly dry your skin, and apply a low-pH, alcohol and fragrance free lotion like Lymphoderm Lotion to maintain the moisture of the skin. Examine your limbs daily to check for any open wounds or oozing in the affected limb. Should any of these issues occur, contact your doctor right away as infections are common with lymphedema and can worsen quickly.
Winter-Ready Compression Wear
Winter ready compression wear for lymphedema, like Compression Sleeves and compression socks, help patients suffering with lymphedema maneuver, both indoors and out, during the cold month of winter.
At Lymphedema Products, we offer a full line of compression wear in a wide range of styles, sizes, materials and compression levels, for men, women and children. Some unisex products are also available. We are dedicated to helping customers treat their lymphedema in a safe, effective, and stylish fashion. Medical Compression Wear is our exclusive business. Our full attention is always focused on providing the right compression garment, bandage, or medical shapewear to meet your needs. Our wide selection of compression socks, compression shorts, arm sleeves and more offers freedom of choice—and unparalleled customer service—at the right price.