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summer lymphedemaSummertime is a really important time to be at the top of your game when it comes to lymphedema management or prevention. The summer months increase the risk of developing lymphedema or making your condition worse. This is the most important time of the year to take precaution by using these tips to get you through, while still enjoying the season:

Beat the Heat! Hot weather can cause your affected arm to swell. Whenever possible, and especially when the sun is at its peak, stay in a shaded area and keep your body temperature down.

Drink lots, and lots, and lots of water. Hydration is the key to maintaining your body temperature.

Reduce your intake of salty foods – go for crunchy veggies rather than potato chips.

Wear loose, breathable clothing

Take care of your compression sleeve. The summer months have us spending more time outdoors – which means sweat, dirt, and sunscreen! Taking good care of your garment will ensure that it doesn’t break down and lose its compressive strength.

Avoid mosquito bites. Something as simple as a mosquito bite can cause an infection in your affected limb. We have a great antibacterial lotion that contains citronella, a natural mosquito repellant. Ask your lymphedema therapist for more details about Lymphoderm.

Keep clean while hiking, biking, or gardening. Be sure to clean your skin, especially if you have any cuts or sores so as not to get infected.

Watch the sun. A sunburn can decrease your lymphatic system’s ability to operate by damaging your superficial lymphatics. Be sure to apply sunscreen regularily and wear high coverage clothing to reduce your exposure to the sun.

Get into swimming this summer. Not only is it an activity that screams SUMMER, but did you know being submersed in water helps your lymphatic system? The natural compression from the water and exercise gives your lymphatic system a boost. However, be sure to apply a good moisturizer after getting out of the pool so your skin doesn’t dry out or crack.

Take care while travelling. Air travel can pose a threat to lymphedema, especially if it is a long-haul flight. If you are at risk of lymphedema, or already have it, you should be wearing a compression sleeve for flights over 4 hours in length. 

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