Lymphedema is a condition that might occur after surgery and treatment of breast cancer. It can be a swelling of the axilla or armpit, the arm itself, the breast, or chest, on the same side that the surgery was done. This may be caused by the disruption of lymph flow because of the lymph node surgery.
Infection, especially of the arm, hand, chest, or breast on the surgical site areas, may trigger the onset of Lymphedema.
Here are some suggestions that may help to prevent infection:
- Good hygiene is very important. Keep your skin clean and dry.
- Use gentle soaps and creams to prevent irritation.
- Try to avoid soaps and creams that are scented. They contain alcohol and can be very drying to the skin. Use a moisturizing lotion if you have dry skin.
- Avoid having injections , blood pressure taken or blood tests in the affected arm.
- Take every precaution to avoid cuts, scrapes or puncture wounds to the skin of the affected arm. This might allow bacteria to get into the skin, which may lead to infection.
- Wear gloves while doing, gardening, or other types of work that may cause cuts, scrapes, or punctures.
- Use an electric shaver if possible to avoid cuts from the razor.