Authored by Amy Beaith-Johnson @lymph.well



It’s 6 AM, I awake to a quiet house. My kiddos are sleeping, and it’s time for me to enjoy a few minutes of ‘me time’. A gift to my day. I take a moment for gratitude and set my mood for the day, stretch and do a few yoga sun salutations before I begin unwrapping my legs. I take off one layer at a time, piling the carnage of messy bandages on the floor, and being curious about what will be revealed. Wrinkles on my lymphie limbs are my favourite, like my BFF’s! Yes, wrinkles! Wrinkles mean I have helped reduce swelling. Yay!


Next, I take a close look at my skin, short of taking out a magnifying glass, I take a moment to tap into my body, focus my eyes on me, feeling and observing my skin texture with my hands, studying myself like a good book - are there any new rough (Texture), red/warm (Temperature), hard/thick (Tightness), or sore (Tender) spots? I call these my 4T’s of skincare.


This tool helps me remember what to check on days I’m rushed, or when I’m not so alert. This has become my daily habit to check my skin every day twice a day, morning and night. I can’t help but feel a little frustrated at the sight of my toes lately. My skin is darkening and hardening near the base of a couple of my toes, despite moisturizing lots and swimming. Time to put my thinking cap on and see what else I can do to help my toes. This simple 5 minute habit has helped me keep a better eye on my Lymphedema and spot any troubles happening before they blow up to something bigger. Being proactive and not just reactive has been an important key to helping myself live well by reduce my anxieties I have due to my Lymphedema, like worrying about infections, flare-ups, constantly assessing situations to determine if it will be helpful or harmful for my Lymphedema in my legs and my overall body, my vessel, my beautiful home I get to live this life in.

Keeping the skin clean, free of bites, and avoiding punctures is the gold standard of lymphedema skincare. Being an inquisitive person, whom my parents always said, had too many questions, LOL. I wanted to know why these things mattered more for me because I had Lymphedema. Dealing with skin that can weep, crack, and struggle with warts and infections, is challenging and something we have to constantly keep on top of. Our skin is our bodies first line of defence against microbes in the outside world, keeping bad bacteria and viruses out. I thought a lot about my skin in my twenties, when I was getting one skin infection after another, unsure of how to stop them beyond what I was already doing. Being told by my doctors that I was a model patient, but that we also had to get my infections under control, or I might lose my legs one day! All those antibiotics were helping my body when it was overwhelmed, but they were also killing off all the good bacteria in my microbiome too. A long term recipe for disaster.


My trauma of infections lingers in my mind, as I run my fingers along my skin, feeling the bumps of progress the night before from my bandaging routine. Feeling my skin and assessing my 4T’s brings some relief to my mind. Phew, I had won another day being infection free. 

I’m learning that a helpful mindset to have, is to see my Lymphedema as ebbing and flowing like ocean waves in and out each day. Forever shifting, but there is a constant rhythm to it.

Next, I put on my dry brush mitt and brush my skin, working in long strokes along my long arm and leg bones, and circular strokes and pumping motions around my joints and my abdomen. I love the feeling on my skin, it wakes me up and I feel my lymph start to move with a soothing, tingling sensation. Dry brushing is another simple 5 minute morning skincare habit that I’ve added to my skincare routine, that has made living with Lymphedema easier. Dry brushing can stimulate my lymph, help my circulation, encourage skin exfoliation. For me, it’s another way to check in with my body, exploring the 4T’s.


I’m stroking my skin, up towards my heart from my fingers to my toes and I’m thinking about what compression garment I’m going to wear for the day, being grateful I’ve got some choices to match my outfit, and having enough pairs I can have a wash and a wear pair. Something I feel should be a no brainer for our healthcare system to offer to lymphies because of the unique skin challenges we face everyday. A extra garment is cheaper than the cost of an emergency room visit, or the time of work to get better. Our garments are like our second skin. Being active means that our garments can get dirty, sweaty, get spills on them. When we don’t have enough garments to accommodate a good quality of life, it can raise our levels of anxiety and stress.


Wearing compression garments can pose some challenges for our skin and offer us great benefits too.


I reach for the Wildberry Curaflow stockings folded up in my drawer, and my seamless toecaps. I grab my grippy gloves to pull on my garment. Something I used to scoff at and think I didn’t need/want, but I realized the gloves help me get my garment on faster and prevent my nails from snagging my garment, so why was I denying myself a tool that can help me? I even have a pair of these gloves tucked into my swim bag now. Getting garments on your skin after being in the pool can be a bit of a challenge, but bringing gloves and a body powder can make it way easier. Swimming is such a gift of time to my skin to be in the water, garment free, and feel the water pressure help move my lymph in my body, plus work on my muscle endurance and strength. I’ve found that removing places of resistance around my daily habits (like the gloves) has helped me do the things I need/want to do with greater ease. Where do you feel like there is some resistance in your life that you could remove? 


Benefits a good garment can provide our skin is:

  • Compressing our skin - keeping our swelling in check
  • Covering our skin, protecting us from bites, scrapes, and sunburns
  • Offering fun colours to our day


Hinderances garments can cause:

  • Skin-Chaffing
  • Feel hot on our skin in the summer
  • Impede our neuroreceptors from interacting with our environment 

I love my Bauerfeind Curaflow garments because they are so soft, but have the strength I need to control my swelling. This softness means I don’t get skin chaffing or itchiness like I used to get with other garment brands, and for someone who struggles with dry skin like I do, this is so great!

I have found all garments hot to wear in the summer, which is just something we have to adapt to in creative ways, so we can live our life to the fullest. Want some ideas? I have a few lifestyle tips to offer to help me keep cool in the summer. Check out my previous blog post on my top 10 summer tips! You might find some ideas to help you beat the heat and make more enjoyable memories this summer!


How can our garments impact our neuroreceptors on our skin and whydoes it matter?

Having a tight garments pressing against our skin all day long, prevents the hairs on our skin from sensing our environment they way they do on other parts of our body. On uncovered skin, the hairs on the surface would naturally pick up on clues from our environment about the weather, seasons, time of day, and even the lunar cycle, sending this information through our lymph & nervous systems. Our body would respond by adapting to the environment around us. Our interaction with our environment is like a constant ebb and flow like the ocean waves. How? Think about how the sun feels hot on your skin and your body responds by sweating, to naturally cool your body down.


Another neat thing our skin does is that when it’s exposed to the rays of the sun, our cells make Vitamin D. But when our skin is protected from the sun under our garments, it doesn’t produce Vitamin D in the same way as our exposed skin would. This is why my Health Care Provider recommended I take a vitamin D supplement year round. Vitamin D is essential for our skin & immune health. Another challenge is that when our skin hairs are constantly being pressed against our skin under our snug garments, this can cause the skin to get ingrown hairs, or it can hide signs of trouble from our eyes before we notice it later when we take our garment off. This is why skin checks and dry brushing can be superstar helpers in your daily routine before you put your garments on, giving you that simple 5-minute moment to check in on your body and assess how it’s doing.


I pull on my garment, choosing some green shorts to wear with my compression leggings. My garments are my second skin. So keeping my garments intact, keeps my skin healthy. However, the care of my skin doesn’t stop with prevention of bites, dryness, and punctures. No way. It also includes exploring ways I can help my body create healthier skin from within. Our body renews our skin cells every 24 hours, so helping my body from the inside out, ultimately helps my Lymphedema too. Taking care of our skin is really of utmost importance in keeping our lymphedema from progressing.


I wander over to my cutting board in the kitchen, chopping up banana, kale, and ginger to make a green smoothie. A favourite in the spring/summer. Herbalism and Ayurveda taught me a different perspective on my health, one that can complement the gold standard of lymphedema self-care management. These unique traditional medicine philosophies offer us the view of how can we use the wisdom of Nature to help our bodies heal and correct imbalances. Our bodies are complex, mirrors of mother nature, requiring complex solutions to keep our bodies in balance. There isn’t a one size fits all, but like the ebb and flow of the ocean waves, our body, like nature has uniqueness and patterns or rhythms that can give us clues to work with. Learning Ayurveda and Herbalism have enhanced my ability to read my body, the seasons, and help me look at my body as an ecosystem, capable of healing through the lens of nature. This has led to changes in my skincare to help my body get stronger through herbal medicine, daily & seasonal routines, time in nature, good quality food, hydration, and strengthening my various microbiomes. 


My top 5 tips to help you have happy and healthy skin with Lymphedema are:

  • Check your skin everyday with the 4T’s
  • Wear good quality compression like Curaflow - its your second skin,
  • Dry brush your skin each morning, then moisturize
  • Check in with your health care provider to see if you might be deficient in any vitamins that could be impacting your skin, lymph, and immune system
  • Keep your skin microbiome diverse and healthy
  • Eat a whole foods seasonal diet, containing mostly plants and minimally processed foods.



À propos d'Amy

Amy-Beaith-Johnson est une influenceuse et militante canadienne contre le lymphœdème qui se passionne pour enseigner aux autres le pouvoir des soins personnels !

Pour plus de conseils sur les soins personnels, des recettes pour les lymphoedèmes ou de l'aide pour élaborer une routine de soins personnels contre le lymphœdème, consultez son site Web !

Courriel :

Web :

Instagram : @lymph.well

Pinterest :