I have a swollen arm

I have a swollen armI have a swollen arm

Swelling in your arm can develop when your lymphatic system doesn’t work properly. If your arm swells suddenly, you should visit your GP or specialist clinic urgently to be assessed for the cause.

One cause is known as lymphoedema and is a long-term condition. There is no cure for lymphoedema, however with the right care and products, the symptoms can be effectively managed to reduce the impact on your day-to-day life.

If you are diagnosed with lymphoedema – here are a few daily steps you can take to keep your arm in a good condition.

Step 1 – compression

Compression plays an important part in the treatment of lymphoedema as it helps to drain away the excess fluid from your arm.

Types of compression

Wraps – juxtafit armsleeve can be used to reduce the swelling in your arm.

The juxtafit arm wrap is a single sleeve with a sewn-in liner so it can be applied independently.

To apply the arm wrap, each individual band is secured in place with Velcro, working up the arm, rather like climbing a ladder. To ensure the compression is even each band has a measurement guide to set the correct pressure.

Once the swelling has been reduced your specialist can measure you for flat knit compression hosiery. This hosiery is called mediven esprit.

Benefits of wearing juxtafit

It is important to wear your juxtafit every day. It lasts for 6 months and is made of Breathe-O-Prene fabric to ensure your skin can breathe easily and you don’t feel hot in it. There is no latex in juxta fabric.

Made to measure compression arm sleeves (mediven esprit). This compression hosiery is used to contain your arm and hand swelling and to stop it getting worse.

mediven esprit is the flat knit compression hosiery for people who have firmer arm swelling and will be prescribed by your specialist if you need it. The fabric is silky and easy to apply. There is a unique knitting mark at the elbow to allow you to bend your elbow without constriction. Flat knit material does not roll or dig in – it is really comfortable to wear.

mediven esprit compression hosiery is available in a variety of colours and patterns to suit your everyday life too – compression can now be a fashion statement! Do not forget to wear it every day!

If your arm swelling is mild, there is a range of Ready to wear compression arm sleeves called mediven harmony.

mediven harmony is called round knit compression and has a unique double ellipse at the elbow for comfort and free movement.

Your specialist will prescribe the right compression sleeve for you.

Benefits of wearing medi hosiery 

  • For the practicalities of daily life, you can wash your sleeve in a washing machine at 40°C and tumble dry it on a cool setting.
  • There is no rubber or latex in the fabric and it is skin friendly.
  • To keep you cool in the summer our clima comfort knitting technique ensures your skin can breathe and any moisture can wick away easily, leaving you feeling fresh whatever the weather.
  • All medi armsleeves last for 6 months of daily wash and wear.

If you struggle to apply your compression arm sleeve

Our medi arm butler is available to help and it is on prescription too – here’s a quick video to show you how to put on your hosiery with ease and confidence – 

SKIN ADHESIVE – many armsleeves are available now with a silicone topband, if you do not have one in your compression and you need extra security, you may benefit from medi It Stays – a water soluble skin adhesive that can help your compression stay in place

Step 2 – skin care 

Taking care of the skin is an important part of lymphoedema care. Oedema (fluid under the skin) is full of waste products that can make the skin very dry and increase the risk of infections, particularly if you have skin folds and creases around your joints (wrist and elbow). Your clinician may have prescribed UCS Debridement cloths.

UCS is available in single-use sterile sachets. There is no need to add any additional water or fill up bowls. UCS gently cleanses and hydrates the skin. Once you have used the UCS, allow it to air dry – leaving the moisturising effects of the aloe on your skin. Once it is dry, you can apply your usual daily emollient.

medi also provide day gel and night cream. The day gel moisturises the skin and allows the compression to be applied easily. The night cream is an effective moisturiser which helps to rehydrate your skin overnight while you sleep. Both are non-sticky.

Step 3 – exercise

Movement is important to help your blood flow and your lymphatic system move fluid around your body. When exercise or movement is performed in conjunction with your compression – it is a very effective way to move lymph fluid out from your limb. Simple exercise such as rolling your shoulders in circles, raising your arms up above your head, flexing your elbow and wrist helps to squeeze your muscles to help prevent the excess fluid forming in your arms.

More information

Compression arm sleeves  
Lymphatic system

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