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Protecting clothing and bedding from emollients

Has anyone been supplied with garments to protect their clothing and bedding from grease stains? Support hosiery does the job for me during the day.

I don't think it's fair on my washing machine to deal with grease-saturated clothing, so I've been sleeping in old trousers (my lymphoedema and use of emollients affects my legs) and then disposing of them, but not before staining my mattress. So now I'm wondering if disposable clothing made from Tyvek would be any good, and I ought to sort out an undersheet.

7 Replies

Are you in the UK?

What sort of emollient are you using? Do you apply too much if it is saturating your bedding? Are you applying it before using garments? This isn't advisable, as it can affect the integrity of the material.

You could consider disposable mattress covers - you can buy them in bulk from a company like

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Yes, I'm in the UK.

I've been using Diprobase until recently. There was what I regard as an error with my last prescription, so I'll be discussing with my GP which emollient I'm now allowed.

I've weighed the container before and after an application, and the amount I use is acceptable.

I usually allow at least 30 minutes before dressing, but the Diprobase is still on the skin surface.

Thanks for the mattress cover suggestion.


If the cream is still on the skin surface after 30 minutes, you may be too generous with the amount you are applying. A decent 'palmful' should be adequate for a leg, unless you have a very large limb. If the cream is still slippery after 30 minutes, you could remove the excess by patting with tissues or a hand towel.

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I found diprobase to be too thick and 'slimy', I changed to zero cream which was not quite so 'sludgy' but now after speaking toy lymphoedema nurse I'm using double base gel which is lovely to apply and sinks into the skin as I presume it should do. I apply it after showering and can dress shortly afterwards as it doesn't leave a thick greasy layer, I do though tend to shower and put slightly more cream on at night as I know that the cream can damage my compression garments, generally a thin layer in the morning is more than adequate. Also to note my skin prior to diagnosis used to be so dry and flaky it would be angry red and very sore sometimes cracking, but now after ensuring that I keep to my skincare regime I don't have this problem.

I also use E45 to wash my legs and if during the winter they are drier than normal, I use hydramol bath and shower emollient, all of these products are available on prescription.

I would suggest you speak to your lymphoedema clinic or gp and I hope you manage to find more suitable moisturising regime without having to buy new bedding or protective bedding

Good luck



I used to use Doublebase when I had to buy my own, based on a review of users' opinions. Recently, there have been prescription errors and I've been able to hand back unopened cannisters, but am unsure about what I'll be allowed in future. E45 went out of favour a few years ago, and my lymphoedema clinic warned me off it but wouldn't suggest an alternative! My GP at the time would only prescribe small tubes of Diprobase, so I used to buy cannisters off eBay.

I've reduced the amount I'm using to one squirt of four or five grams per lower leg, which has reduced the problem, and am about to put an oil-soaked pair of trousers on the fire...

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I use Eperaderm Ointment and rub into my legs and arms very thinly and leave to soak into the skin if it is too greasy after an hour you have applied too much so would need to wash it off or wipe it off with a towel.

Your skin will absorb as much as it needs within 30mins. so only use a small amount so the size of a teaspoon on each leg from thigh to toe should be ok.


Epaderm is more expensive than Diprobase, so I wouldn't now be allowed it on prescription.

I've already cut the amount I use, but will try cutting it further!


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