Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoedema

The most common signs and symptoms of lymphoedema is swelling of the affected body area, such as the arm or the leg, that may increase throughout the day.

Signs and Symptoms of Lymphoedema

Besides swelling, there are other typical signs and symptoms of lymphoedema. If you are at risk of developing lymphoedema, you should pay attention to the signs or symptoms below. Early communication with your healthcare professional is important as it may facilitate early treatment.

Signs and symptoms of lymphoedema are:

  • Swelling of your arm(s), leg(s) or other parts of the body
  • Swelling in the morning that worsens throughout the day
  • Swelling that persists for more than three months
  • “Pitting oedema”: pressure to your skin, e.g. with your thumb, leaves an indentation
  • Clothing and jewellery (especially rings and bracelets) may feel much tighter than usual
  • Feeling of heaviness or tightness, aching or discomfort
  • Skin changes such as hard, tight skin (fibrosis), wart-like growths, skin folds
  • Skin discoloration and reddening
  • Fluid leaking through the skin (lymphorrhea)
  • Skin infections, such as cellulitis
  • Less mobility and range of motion

Lymphoedema symptoms can change over time. Without treatment, the swelling can become permanent and the affected area may start to feel hard and solid. You may also notice the swelling fails to improve overnight.

Learn more about the different stages of lymphoedema

Up next

Causes and Types of Lymphoedema

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