Does Lymphedema Get Worse in the Summer?
Summer is a time of freedom and fun, but it’s not without its challenges—especially for people managing lymphedema symptoms.
If you have lymphedema, chances are you’ll notice more discomfort and swelling in the summer as the weather becomes hotter. In the hot summer heat, it’s much easier to get dehydrated, get a sunburn, or generally overheat; all of which can exacerbate lymphedema symptoms.
For those looking to get the most out of the season, here are some of the top things to be careful about, and what you can do to have more fun and stay healthy this summer.
Protect Your Skin
It’s nice to be able to slip into some lighter clothes as the weather warms up, but summer wardrobes mean more exposed skin. This leaves you open to a variety of skin irritations such as sunburns and bug bites, which can strain your lymphatic system through inflammation or even lead to infection.
For those with lymphedema and venous diseases, it’s crucial to be extra mindful about preventing these irritations from ruining time outdoors. Don’t leave the house without sunscreen, and keep some bug spray handy for pesky mosquitos. Seek shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter for even more protection.
The last thing you want is to put undue stress on your body with excessive heat. Prolonged increases in body temperature can affect your circulation and cause swelling. Wearing light and non-restrictive clothes can help keep you a bit cooler, but if the heat is more than you can comfortably tolerate for an hour or so, that’s a sign it’s time to cool off somewhere else.
The hottest times of day are generally late morning to early afternoon, so be mindful about when you’re going out and consider staying comfortable indoors (with the AC on when possible) when the temperature is at its highest.
The summer heat naturally leads to a lot of sweating, and if you aren’t properly accounting for that loss of moisture, the resulting dehydration can further compromise your body’s ability to circulate and flush out toxins. The body is more prone to hold onto excess liquid when it feels dehydrated, so drink up to maintain a healthy fluid and chemical balance. It’s a simple piece of advice, but it really can’t be overstated how important it is to make sure you’re giving your body the hydration it needs as the weather heats up.
Even with all of the above in mind, there’s no denying that summer is one of the best times of year for staying active. Doing things you enjoy that keep you in motion is one of the best ways to naturally get your lymphatic system pumping and circulating more efficiently. We designed the Dayspring active compression system to support and maintain muscle contraction and mobility during treatment.
The warmer weather is perfect for walks through nature, gardening, or participating in community events, so one of our biggest recommendations is finding an activity that’s fun for you and doing it often.
These summer months are easy to take for granted, so we hope this guide helps you pack as much fun into them as possible!