Skin folds are very common with lipedema. It’s particulary important to examine your skin folds carefully as these may develop friction or moisture-related damage and consequent infections with bacetria or fungi. Besides, wearing compression garments can stress your skin: it gets dry and prone to small skin injuries, such as scratches. This, in turn, increases the risk for bacteria to enter your skin that can cause infections.
Good skin care with lipedema includes:
- Wash your skin daily with mild soaps or skin cleansers that are moisturizing, hypo-allergenic, and have a neutral to slightly acid pH balance (around pH 5) .
- Dry your skin carefully, especially any skin folds.
- Apply emollients: they coat your skin with an oily layer that protects against water loss.
- Avoid scented products that often irritate the skin.
- Immediately disinfect and treat any cuts, scratches, or insect bites.
- Avoid unnecessary injuries to your affected limb, such as taking blood samples or injections.
- Pay attention to your nail care to prevent ingrown nails or dry skin around the nail bed.
When you suffer from a lymphedema in addition, it’s even more important to protect your skin, as there is an increased risk of cellulitis.
Keep in mind that it depends on your individual skin condition which skin care routine and product is best for you. Talking to your healthcare professional (HCP) can help you to find the right product. In general, products that both moisturize your skin and maintain the protective layer of your skin are preferable.
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