Lymphoedema changes the microcirculation of the skin and also changes the protein levels in the fluid of the skin tissues. These changes can have an effect on immune response and the higher protein levels can cause the tissues to become courser and to harden.
This can increase the risk of developing an infection in the skin and make an infection more difficult to treat. Repeated infections and inflammation can cause more fibrosis and hardening of the skin tissues, thus setting up a cycle of worsening lymphoedema.
Good skin care is essential in reducing the risk of developing or when treating lymphoedema.
General Principles of skin care:
Best Practice for the Management of Lymphoedema. International Consensus, 2006
Skin care for lymphoedema. Macmillan Cancer Support
Smith & Nephew Advanced wound Management.
World of Wounds
World Alliance for Wound and Lymphoedema Care
European Wound Management Association
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