Tips For Caring For Lymphedema Arm Sleeves

We understand the costs of medical supplies and equipment can be very challenging for some patients with lymphedema. We also recognize that unlike some types of medical supplies, there is a limited life for compression garments, which means they will require replacing on a continual schedule.

With this being said, there are some ways our customers can extend the life of their lymphedema arm sleeves and other compression garments by using a few simple tips in caring for the items. We also strongly recommend following all manufacturer recommendations for replacing the garment on a regular basis. Failing to do so can lead to increased risk of edema when adequate compression is not maintained.

Wash Daily

One essential thing to keep in mind with lymphedema arm sleeves and other compression garments is they are in direct contact with the skin. Oil, sweat, and dead skin cells will be transferred from your body to the garment, even if you shower every morning.

When oil and dirt combine with moisture from the body, the conditions are perfect for the development of bacteria in the garment. Daily washing also prevents this risk, something that is important for your overall health.

It is essential to read the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for care and follow them to the letter. Most compression garments can be machined washed on the gentle cycle. We also recommend using a cloth bag to prevent stretching in the machine. Never use the hot or cold options and only use a recommended washing product.

What to Avoid

Typically when customers have problems with the life of their lymphedema arm sleeves we find they have been using laundry products that may be destructive to the material in the sleeve.

It is critical to avoid any use of bleach, laundry additives, including products to add a fragrance, or any washing solutions containing chlorine. These ingredients are sometimes found in popular detergents, so be sure to read the label.

Ideally hang all compression garments to dry or use the delicate dryer setting without heat. Hanging to dry is highly recommended as even a bit of heat can decrease the effectiveness of the compression. If you are going to use the dryer be very careful to avoid using any type of dryer products such as softeners or dryer sheets.

Last but not least, don’t place your compression garments and arm sleeves on a line in the direct sunlight. It is also important to pat them dry with a towel before hanging it up to remove excess moisture and prevent distorting the shape.

These tips will help to extend the life of your lymphedema arm sleeves and compression garments. However, you will need to consider replacing any garment typically in six months or less of use.

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