It's not possible to completely prevent lymphoedema, but the following advice may help reduce your chances of developing it.
If you already have lymphoedema, this advice may stop it getting worse.
The part of your body affected by lymphoedema is more vulnerable to infection of the build-up of fluid within the tissues.
Any cuts in your skin can allow bacteria to enter your body and may quickly develop into an infection.
Skin infections can also damage your lymphatic system and cause lymphoedema to develop.
You can reduce your chances of developing skin infections by:
Contact your GP as soon as possible if you develop symptoms of a possible skin infection, such as redness and a feeling of heat in the skin.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle may help reduce your risk of developing lymphoedema, and may also help control the condition if you already have it.
Read about lymphoedema, a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It usually develops in the arms or legs.
Read about the causes of primary and secondary lymphoedema. Primary lymphoedema is caused by faulty genes. Secondary lymphoedema can occur if the lymphatic system is damaged.
Information about is diagnosing and monitoring lymphoedema. Sometimes it's necessary to carry out tests, such as measuring limb volume and bioimpedance testing.
Decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) is used for treating lymphoedema. It involves good skin care, using compression bandages, doing exercises, and specialised massage.
Good skin care is important for reducing the risk of getting lymphoedema and stopping it spreading if you already have it. Adopting a healthy lifestyle may also help.