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Critical examination of skin care self-management in lymphoedema.


Lymphoedema is a long-term chronic condition that results from lymphatic insufficiency and may cause skin changes, which can cause discomfort and impact patient' quality of life. The four cornerstones of lymphoedema management are exercise, lymphatic massage, compression and skin care. This article critically examines self-management in lymphoedema focusing on skin care. Patients may initially demonstrate enthusiasm to undertake the required skin care independently. However, psychosocial factors, such as financial burden and physical restraints, can affect motivation and behaviours over time. A patient's knowledge of the importance of skin care self-management should not be limited to the initial assessment, but should be continually assessed throughout their lymphoedema journey. The ongoing provision of patient-centred care may have psychological and behavioural benefits and help optimise skin care self-management.

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Journal Article
Jones A
Woods M
Malhotra K