Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy
PLEASE NOTE: The following guidelines apply to the affected area only.
Keep the affected area meticulously clean by:
  • washing skin thoroughly and frequently
  • keeping the skin moist to avoid drying and cracking
  • using low PH lotions to protect the skin from pathogens
Try not to injure the skin as this may cause infection. Avoid:
  • exposure to animal scratches and bites
  • exposure to biting or stinging insects
  • unnecessary skin punctures (vaccines, venipuncture, acupuncture, piercings)
  • chronic, self-induced scratching, nail biting, etc.
Avoid activities which cause more extensive trauma to delicate lymph vessels such as:
  • excessive strain during exercise
  • physical overexertion in affected limb(s) (heavy lifting, joint over-rotation)
  • restriction of blood and lymph circulation (blood pressure cuffs, pneumatic pumps, poor fitting elastic garments, unskilled bandaging, tight bra straps, waist bands, watches, rings, etc.)
  • any other blunt trauma or bruising
  • unnecessary surgical procedures (always consult a lymphedema specialist first)
  • burns from heat sources including the sun
Temperature extremes cause the lymphatic system to labor. Avoid:
  • frostbite or extreme cold
  • extreme heat from saunas, whirlpools, hot weather
  • heat treatments, hot packs, etc.
Other lifestyle changes may lessen the risk of starting or worsening lymphedema.
  • When traveling by air, use compression garments or low stretch bandaging (those who do not have lymphedema but are predisposed should seek the advice of a lymphedema specialist).
  • Keep body weight at optimal levels (obesity can cause lymphedema or worsen pre-existing lymphedema).
  • Exercise regularly (special exercises are recommended).
  • Seek medical assistance immediately if infection occurs.
  • Seek appropriate treatment for lymphedema, such as Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). CDT is the gold standard of treatment and is safe and reliable.