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Br J Community Nurs. 2010 Apr;15(4):S28-30.

Massage: a helping hand for people with chronic oedema and lymphoedema.

Author information

1
British Lymphology Society. Cheryl.Pyke@abm-tr.wales.nhs.uk

Abstract

Skin care is fundamental in maintaining the integrity of one's skin and it has become modern practice to wash and dry ourselves on a daily basis to eliminate odour and rejuvenate the skin. What is becoming more apparent is that as health professionals we are not transferring this basic act to our patient's care and this simple form of neglect can be detrimental to your patient's recovery. Moreover, when washing with the soapy products that are available to us, and then drying ourselves rigorously, we remove our skin's natural oils thus the skin appears drier and is more susceptible to damage. This is where the simple application of a moisturising agent will not only replace the lost oils, but it will in fact stimulate the initial lymphatics lying under your skin. The action of rubbing a cream or emollient into the skin is a form of massage, and this simple action will go a very long way towards the recovery of skin integrity and in the prevention of harm and infection. Make this part of your practice when looking after your patient's wounds and swollen limbs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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