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Lymphedema (cont.)

Prevention

Primary lymphedema cannot be prevented; it is possible to take steps to reduce your risk of developing secondary lymphedema if you are at risk.

  • Avoid heavy lifting (including carrying heavy purses) with an affected arm.

  • Drink plenty of fluids; dehydration can worsen lymphedema.

  • Avoid environmental irritants in the affected area, such as insect bites or stings and sunburn.

  • Practice good skin care and hygiene.

  • Don't wear tight clothing or jewelry on the affected limb. Even the use of blood pressure cuffs on an affected arm should be avoided.
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