what do other people with compression sleeve do in the sun?

I finished chemo and radiotherapy treatment after breast cancer over 2 years ago now. Kept covered up with long-sleeved blouses since then when in the sun. With the heat we have been having recently, I would like just to wear short sleeves as the compression sleeve makes me so hot. The problem is, although I will use high protection sun cream, I will have one arm with a slight tan and the other still pale if I go out in the evening without the sleeve on!! I know this may seem a petty issue to some of you who have lymphoedema much worse than me but it is an issue for me. Anyone got any suggestions?

16 Replies

  • Hi Chrissie, I use fake tan to even up my arms. I would never subathe without my sleeve on as heat on the affected arm could cause it to swell even more. When I am gardenening or out in the sun I wear my compression sleeve with a long sleeve blouse over it.

  • Hi Linda6. I bought some fake tan for my leg but then got worried that my skin would react badly (quite sensitive).....do you use a special brand and how often do you do it? Did you ever have a reaction to the fake tan? Thanks

  • Hi Lymphgirl, at the moment I use Leighton Denny from QVC but if you have very sensitive skin they also sell Elemis products and their sunless fake tan gives a lovely sunkissed subtle glow. All off their products can be used on highly sensitive skin and they are used in premium spas all over the world. I have used Elemis myself and it gives a lovely sunkissed glow. If you buy any products from QVC and find that they don't suit your skin they do a 30 day money back guarantee, its no risk shopping..

  • hiya chrissie

    i wear sleeves & gloves on both arms so don't have that problem!

    you could put sunblock on the arm without a sleeve on, so they both stay pale?

    or you could put fake tan on the lymphy arm for going out?

    i still wear sunblock under the sleeves - i use p20 & put it on in the evenings - cos i find the sun gets through

    another tip - spritzing cold water straight onto your arm in its sleeve is bliss if you're feeling hot & bothered, evaporates again quickly so you don't stay soggy

    & if it bothers you, it's not petty! we're not here to judge each other or compete for who's got the most / least right to have a moan!

    hope you find something that works before the sun disappears again - i'm also lucky in not liking the sun, so i definitely live in the right country for me

  • Thanks for the tip about spraying on water - never thought of it. I don't like the sun particularly but do a lot of walking and would prefer not to have to wear long sleeves

  • Hi Chrissie I struggle with this as well. I generally put a higher factor suncream on arm that I wear sleeve on if I take it off if you see what I mean, but I am cautious as last year in Dubrovnik on holiday my arm increased in size and was sun sensitive (I think). On some hols I have worn sleeve during day and taken off in the evening to go out. I now wear sleeveless tops with a wee short cardi to hide the 'gap' at the top of my arm, or a loose thin linen shirt also works quite well. Spraying on water is a great tip to share. I love the sun and swimming in the sea in warm countries but since diagnosis in 2007 I have been pretty cautious about it all. Some suncreams are good moisturisers but not all of them are. Good luck to all arm lymphies xx

  • thanks lovesradio. I must be careful when going to warmer climes in September - the first holiday we will have had when there should be sun. It will also be the first time I have flown since being diagnosed so hopefully the sleeve will do its job!

  • Enjoy your sunny holiday! Flight should be fine but do wear your sleeve for it. Last time I flew, I was really conscious of the pressure changes on my arm but it's the first time I've noticed it!

  • I am not promoting my company.. but I have lymphedema after breast cancer. I live near the beach and I am always in the sun. When I don't want to wear my sleeve, or its dirty... or I want to take a swim.. I always wear my cover up item "arm Candy" by Warrior Wear. It acts like a sun block, allows me to swim, keeps the arm covered and I feel like my arm doesn't look bad or is exposed. I am so used to covering it up, I feel naked without my compression or my Arm Candy.

    I wear just the arm candy to go to the beach because it is so light weight yet effective as a sun block.

    Hope this helps. If you want my web site just ask. I really don't want to advertise.. Its not my thing.. Just want to help and be helped by everyone here.

  • I would be interested in looking at your website. Have looked at various websites but couldn't find anything resembling a cover up item

  • I can be found at warriorwear4u.com

  • thanks, will think about it as I am in the UK and it makes it quite expensive. It was good reading your story - keep up the positive thinking

  • Hi Chrissie. I ALWAYS wear my sleeve now since stern advice from someone I met with severe leg problems and my lymphodema is well controlled. :) I like to holiday in hot countries and tend to be in the pool/sea the majority of the day to cool myself down, and get the much needed exercise! I wear sleeveless dresses/tops and always wear a BLACK compression sleeve. My wardrobe tends to be monochrome and the black sleeve adds a little something. In fact people ask me where I buy my long "gloves" from because they like the look and would like to purchase one!! A few self adhesive crystals to the sleeve also adds a little sparkle to the outfit and makes me feel less of a sufferer and more of a fashion diva!

  • great ideas... A little bling

  • Absolutely! As I have to wear the sleeve every day for life, I want to make it a part of my wardrobe. I do not wear flesh toned ones as I feel as I have a false arm look, so I go for black. Would love a white and navy blue one but don't know whether the NHS would supply. Any ideas??

  • Thanks so much for all the good advice everyone - I do a lot of gardening, wearing the sleeve, take it off in the evening and bingo I have a white left arm and a brown right one!!

    But not after all your good advice...

    reetpetite -

    check out chic compressions ...run by a lymphodema specialist who also works in NHS....I have gone all handbags about my sleeves now i have found her ; whenever i have a bit of spare cash i am straight onto her website

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