are a few general rules to respect in cases of swollen limb. They are taken from
the book "Phlebolymphoedema.
From diagnosis to therapy" P.R. Communications Ed., Bologna 1998, and they
are reported for kind permission of the authors (A. Cavezzi and S. Michelini)
and of the editor of the book
AND HYGIENE RULES IN CASES OF SWELLING (PHLEBOLYMPHOEDEMA) OF THE LOWER LIMB
- Raise the limbs to a downward-sloping position as soon as daily activity permits
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods.
- Raise the height of the bed using blocks under the legs of the bed.
- Protect yourself from the sun's rays. Avoid excessive heat, including hot
baths or contact with hot surfaces or heat sources (such as hotwater bottles,
electric blankets, etc.)
- Do not wear socks with elastic that are too tight; similarly, avoid wearing
- Always wear appropriate, comfortable footwear (avoid open shoes or sandals,
especially those with thongs between the toes).
- Inform your doctor of any change in the temperature of the limb or any pain
- Take care to keep your feet clean and avoid cutting skin membranes.
- Avoid insect bites using the appropriate creams available.
- Avoid scratches or bites from pets.
- It is advisable for women to avoid wearing high heels.
- Weigh yourself regularly, and try to lose weight when this is necessary.
- Never walk about barefoot, not even at home.
- During journeys by train, car or plane, keep your legs as free as possible
and move them whenever you can.
AND HYGIENE RULES IN CASES OF SWELLING (PHLEBOLYMPHOEDEMA) OF THE UPPER LIMB
- Wear gloves when carrying out activities which could be risky (such as gardening
- Use a thimble when sewing.
- Do not wear bracelets or rings on the oedematous limb.
- Wear long-sleeved clothes which are not too tight around the proximal area of
- Avoid exposure to the sun's rays, hot rooms, hot baths and saunas.
- Do not lift weights with the limb in question.
- Avoid having your blood taken, intravenous or subcutaneous injections and the
taking of pressure of the affected limb.
- Consult a health care professional should there be any reddening of the limb,
any increase in local temperature or onset of local pain.
- Smokers should handle the cigarette or cigar with the healthy hand.
- When sitting, keep the arm raised and never dangling at the side of your body.
- Do not compress the affected arm during sleep as a result of incorrect posture
- When manicuring your hands, avoid cutting skin membranes.
- Avoid insect bites; during the summer use protective creams against insect bites.
- Avoid being scratched or bitten by pets.
- Avoid knitting or crocheting for hours on end.
- Avoid isometric contractures of the limb muscles.
- Women should wear a brassier that does not excessively compress the shoulder
and the supraclavial area of the affected limb.