- To maintain normal skin integrity and suppleness and avoid infection. This is achieved by daily hygiene and by addressing problems such as dry, scaly, cracked or infected skin immediately.
Maintaining Good Hygiene
- Shower daily using pH products such as DermaVeen or QV Body wash (NOT soap!)
- Scrub skin gently with a body brush.
- A shower spray may help dislodge dry skin.
- Take care when drying, especially around creases or skin folds – ensure all areas are dry. A hairdryer may be useful for hard to reach places, such as between the toes.
- Fragile skin should be patter dry rather than rubbed.
- Wear clean clothes with socks and shoes every day, change linen, towels and bedding regularly to prevent infection from spreading.
- In cases of skin trauma (cuts and scrapes), soak the area in an antibacterial bath with potassium permanganate (Condi’s crystals) diluted to pale pink for 10-15 minutes.
- Daily exfoliating of dead skin cells will expose normal tissue, allowing for absorption of moisturisers.
- Creams should be applied in the direction of lymphatic flow: that is, from the hand to the armpit and from the foot to the groin.
General Skincare Advice
- Treat all skin injuries immediately with cleansing and anti-septic lotion, such as Betadine.
- Protect skin by wearing gloves, thimbles, shoes, socks, etc when gardening, sewing, walking outside.
- Use insect repellent to avoid bites.
- Avoid sunburn and hot waxing.
- Use an electric razor with care.
- Injections and blood pressure testing must not be performed on an affected or at risk limb.
- Prevent excessive alterations in your oedema as this damages the skin. It’s important to perform your daily MLD and lymph-stimulating exercise, wear compression garments and follow the advice of your lymphoedema physiotherapist.
If you have any questions, or to book an appointment, please contact Physio For You on (02) 4392 1547.