Check your skin daily for cuts, scratches, burns or any redness. If any spot, cut or area starts to redden and swell, apply antiseptic ointment to area and monitor your skin closely for any sign of infection.
Wash your skin daily with a pH neutral cleanser or soap, taking particular care to ensure skin folds are kept clean. Avoid using glycerine soap as this can cause the skin to become dry. Pat the skin dry, do not rub as this can inflame the skin.
Moisturise your skin daily with a non-perfumed lotion to keep the skin supple and stop it becoming dry. Apply to the skin at night if wearing garments. Use upwards strokes to apply the cream but ensure the final stroke is downwards to settle the hairs into the direction they normally grow.
Be aware of infection. Signs of infection can include:
- Increased swelling of your limb
- Your limb feels hot to your touch
- Redness or rash
- High temperature
- Generally feeling unwell as though you have the flu
What to do if I think I have a skin infection.
- Immediately remove compression garment and keep off until infection has cleared
- Mark the inflamed area with a ballpoint pen and if symptoms spread outside the affected area contact your GP immediately as you may need antibiotics
- Do not over-exercise your limb
- Do not do your simple lymph drainage
Refer to the British Lymphoedema Society consensus for the most recent advice on treating infections, and see your doctor without delay. The consensus recommends what antibiotics should be used especially if you are allergic to any or taking statins, and the dose if previous infections have occurred and a prophylactic (maintenance dose) is needed.