Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema

The most common sign and symptom of lymphedema is swelling of the affected body area, such as the arm or the leg, that increases as the day progresses.

Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema

Besides swelling, there are other typical signs and symptoms of lymphedema. If you are at risk of developing lymphedema, you should pay attention to any signs or symptoms of lymphedema. Early communication with your healthcare professional (HCP) is important as it allows early treatment.

Signs and symptoms of lymphedema are:

  • Swelling of your arm(s), leg(s) or other parts of the body.
  • Swelling in the morning that worsens over the day.
  • Swelling that persists for more than 3 months.
  • “Pitting edema”: Pressure to your skin, e.g. with your thumb, leaves an indentation.
  • Clothing and jewelry (especially rings and bracelets) may feel much tighter than usual.
  • Feeling of heaviness or tightness, aching or discomfort.
  • Skin changes such as hard, tight skin (fibrosis), wart-like growths, skin folds.
  • Skin discoloration and reddening.
  • Fluid leaking through the skin (lymphorrhea).
  • Skin infections, such as cellulitis.
  • Less mobility and range of motion.

Lymphedema symptoms can change over time. Without treatment, the swelling can become permanent. The affected part of the body starts to feel hard and solid, and the swelling does not improve overnight.

Learn more about the different stages of lymphedema

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Causes and Types of Lymphedema

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