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Activities for Daily Living

Lesson 8

Inspect your affected limb daily and monitor the skin for changes such as fibrotic tissue, scrapes, calluses, and blisters. Clean small wounds with soap and water. Cover the wound with a thin layer of antibacterial ointment and a Band-Aid. Change the Band-Aid whenever it gets wet or dirty, or at least daily. Be alert for signs of infection, including swelling, marked tenderness, or increased heat. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs. You may need an antibiotic. Avoid trauma to the skin by protecting yourself from insect or animal bites and scratches, and sunburn. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning and leather gloves while working in the yard. To avoid burns, use caution around heat sources, such as the oven or boiling water. If you are burned, immediately apply ice or cold water. Cover the blister with a bandage so it does not break, and you may need to call your physician. Use knives or sharp tools with caution. Use a thimble when sewing. Use an electric razor, rather than a blade, when shaving your legs or underarms.

Avoid trimming hangnails or cuticles and use a cuticle cream to keep cuticles soft. Avoid receiving injections, having blood drawn, or blood pressures taken in the affected arm. Do not lift more than 12 pounds with an affected arm. Carry bags or heavier loads on the unaffected side. Always use extra bandaging when traveling by air; the decrease in atmospheric pressure in the airliner can cause swelling. Keep your living area at home safe. If you have difficulty walking, do not use throw rugs in your home. Throw rugs can slip or you may trip over them and fall. If you need assistance with walking, always use your cane or walker.


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HOPE Lymphedema Treatment Center | 134C Eldridge Road | Sugar Land, TX 77478