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The main signs and symptoms of lymphoedema include:
* swelling, which might come and go, in the arm, leg or other affected body part. The first sign might be that clothes, shoes or jewellery seem tighter than usual,
* a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the affected limb or area of the body,
* aching and discomfort in the affected limb or area of the body,
*less movement in the affected arm or leg,
*repeated skin infections
*a toughening or thickening of the skin,
*pitting of the skin (so gently pushing on the skin leaves an indent).
Lymphoedema may be mild (no visible swelling), moderate (visible pitting of the skin) or severe (hard, fattier skin). Lymphoedema can come and go. Many people find that the lymphoedema swelling gets worse:
*through the day and then gets better overnight,
*in the heat,
*with overuse of the limb,
*by not changing positions,
*with prolonged inactivity.
Lymphoedema may be mild (where no swelling is noticeable); moderate (where pitting of the skin is seen); or severe (where the skin becomes hard and fattier).
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment with a health professional.
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The Compression in Europe website provides basic tips and tricks for people wearing compression garments. We hope this information will help you obtain the correct compression.
It is estimated that 250 million people worldwide are affected by lymphoedema. There is varying information on how many are affected by lipoedema, but it is believed that 4 – 10% of adult women worldwide is to be affected by lipoedema.
Medical compression garments are a fundamental part of the management of lipoedema and lymphoedema. Lymphoedema can deteriorate without compression. There is a higher risk of complications such as infections which can lead to hospital admissions and reduced mobility as well as having a significant impact on the ability to work and quality of life.