Living with Lymphedema: Alternatives to Bandages

If you suffer from lymphedema, you do not have to wear bandages. Instead, you can take advantage of compression garments. These are not the same type of garments that you purchase in the mall to enhance your shape. Instead, they are meant to improve your health. Some of the most common garments include sleeves, gauntlets, and gloves. Learn more about them and how to find the right fit.



A sleeve is designed to promote the flow of lymph in your arm. When you are looking for this type of product, make sure that it reaches from your wrist to your armpit. It should not have any bindings on it. The sleeve should fit snuggly on your arm so that it does not fall off. However, if it is too tight, it will not work properly. It might actually cause more swelling in your arm. The best well to tell if a garment is too tight is if it wrinkles or your skin bulges at the end. Finally, when you purchase a sleeve, make sure that it does not cause you pain. It also should not create severe indentations on your arm.

Gauntlets and Gloves


A gauntlet is a compression garment that fits around the wrist and thumb. It stops at the knuckles. A glove covers the fingers. Both products are meant to combat the problems with lymphedema. They should fit comfortably around the wrists, and they should never bulge. It is particularly important that they cover the sleeve. If there is a gap, then they do not work as effectively.

Finding the Right Size

Since the fit is so important, you need to purchase the right size of compression garment. They can be made custom or you can purchase them “off-the-shelf.”  When you purchase them “off-the-shelf,” this means they are already made. Most of the time, they have a variety of sizes to meet the needs of different hand and arm sizes. It is completely possible to get a good fit with pre-made compression garments.


Generally, pre-made compression garments are constructed out of a circular knit material. This results in no seams, and gives them a cylindrical shape. They tend to be lightweight and not too obvious when worn. Many people have an easy time adjusting to them, and experience great results with them.

If you are tired of bandages, then it might be a good idea to look into compression garments. Sleeves, gauntlets, and gloves are just a few examples of the effective options available to help people who are struggle with lymphedema.

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