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Sauna or not?

Hi everyone - I have mild lymphodema from axillary clearance and rads after Breast CA - its gradually developed, not enough preventative info given I think - and even tho I tried its gradually come on. So I was referred to local lymphodema people - LOVELY and v helpful - I have compression sleeve, and better instructions for care and prevention . But they didn't know what to say about saunas - of course its not a great idea as its in the same camp as not too much very hot weather as a risk factor...but if its for just a short time - what does anyone think? Then I thought of genius solution - wear two wine cooler sleeves on affected arm??!!! Any experiences gratefully received as I do love a sauna and would be sorry to not have them again. thanks very much Nicola

6 Replies

sorry lovely, the advice would be 'not'

even if you kept your arm coolish, it's still connected to the rest of you so will be affected by your overall temperature increase, & your lymph, circulation & other systems will all be warming up

having said that, life's for living - you could experiment & enjoy a sauna then see if there's a price to pay before you decide whether to dod it again

don't forget that damp hot air is great for spreading bugs so you need to be really careful about any skin punctures, hangnails etc etc - yummmmmmm

hope i haven't put you off having a go


Much appreciate your very sensible thoughts ta


I would definately say no. I had minimal lymphodema and loved saunas prior to my treatment. Had not had one but went to a spa last year and had to giv e it a go. Even for a short period ie 10 mins found that subsequently my lymphodema got worse and I had continued infections so I now have to take continued antibiotic therapy. Very stupid and learnt the hard way xx


I'm in my 18th year of pretty bad lymphoedema in my leg (see my photo)..controlled with compression stockings. I've never let it stop me doing anything. I've used saunas and steam rooms with no really bad effects. Benefit on your happiness and well being far outweighs any risk in my view. Don't let it rule your life.


that's a point, nicola - you could always take some prophylactic antibi cover - i'm on penicillin all the time now since i spent the 1st 4 months of the year with serial cellulitis, & if i cut myself / fall over etc i still go & get the savlon but i'm a lot more chilled about it now & don't sit rocking on the settee crying

before that i was taking a 500mg dose on the days i had bloods done so i could have it taken out of my least-bad hand rather than my foot - i'd never heard of single dose prophylaxis before, but apparently it's not uncommon for women who get a lot of problems with cystitis to have a dose if they're intending to have sex involving intercourse or lots of rubbing!

hope the prescribers remember to tell the straight ones that penicillin & contraceptive pill don't always mix!


thanks everyone - I reckon I will try 5 mins and see how I go - its only for a short time while on hols as the cottage we have booked has one....and will take all the pills potions and lotions etc

bye for now


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