Compression bandaging

How to tell if you need to wear the bandages

armYou should wear your bandages during treatment as directed by your lymphedema therapist. 

Once you can wrap the bandages yourself, you may remove them to shower. Until then, put a plastic bag over the bandages (tuck in the top) to shower.

How to tell if the bandages are too tight or wrapped wrong

If your bandages are too tight, you will have cold fingers or toes, blue fingers or toes and pain in your hand or foot.

Remove your bandages and rewrap if these signs do not go away by moving your hand or foot. If you wrap one area of your arm or leg too tightly, fluid could pool below that point.

How often bandages should be washed

Wash the bandages about every two to four days (when they look soiled or lack their elasticity).

Washing the bandages help make the fabric elastic again. Wash and rotate between two sets of bandages.

How To wash the bandages

Put the bandages in a mesh bag. Set your washer to the delicate or gentle cycle (in cold water). Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Use a mild detergent.

Let the bandages air dry. Do not put the bandages in the dryer or hang them on an outdoor clothesline.

If you hang the bandages (inside), fold them in half so the weight of the water does not cause them to stretch as they dry. Do not wring or stretch the bandages while they are wet.

Roll the bandages after they are dry. (This makes them easier to put on.) Be sure not to roll the bandages too tightly or they will pre-stretch and need to be washed more often.

Helpful hint when putting on your bandages

Use a moisturizer or lotion every day just before you put on the bandages. Using a tubular cotton stocking makes a protective layer between your skin and the bandages.