Thou shalt moisturise!

Every time I visit the lymphedema clinic my nurse is impressed by the condition of my legs. Inside I do a silent fist pump, because I am so pleased that my moisturising efforts are taking effect. And since I had my lymphedema nurse’s approval, I thought I would share my moisturising tips on here…

I am by no means a dermatologist, so if you are suffering with dry skin, please consult your doctor. I am just stating what works for me.

I moisturise every day without fail. I go through about 200-300 ml of moisturiser per month, this means I can buy a new bottle every month. I like to change up my daily moisturisers, and when my legs are in good condition, I have more choice of what I can use. When they aren’t good (sore, or infected), I like to stick to creams especially for sensitive skin. Moisturising is very important as it stops your skin getting dry. Dry skin– when your skin loses moisture- can lead to cracked skin. This can be a breeding ground for bacteria, as the cracks let microorganisms and irritants in.
This is particularly dangerous (yes dangerous!) for people who suffer from lymphoedema, varicose veins and other circulatory conditions. Dry skin lets bacteria in, bacteria causes infections like Cellulitis, or folliculitis. If you have areas in your legs which have poor circulation, they become nice , stagnant places for the bacteria to live. Also, every infection you get damages your lymph vessels a bit more; which over time leads to more swelling as the vessels won’t work as well as they used to.

Below is an example of skin infection on my leg.

Bacterial skin infections, without treatment, can cause septicaemia. Septicaemia- in layman’s terms- is when your body cannot fight an infection, so instead of it being in one area, it enters your blood stream. You can die from septicaemia. So for people like me who have a dodgy leg and poor circulation, moisturising is COMPULSORY.

How my leg should look! Moisturised and rash free.

Here is a list of the current moisturisers living in my beauty cupboard…

A Thick, Lovely Scented Cream
Nivea Creme £2.50 ish, Savers
Ooh this is a treat for me, the rich, heavy duty creme takes a while to apply, and you really must dry yourself properly before applying, as it doesn’t mix well with water. I absolutely love the smell of Nivea creme, its very nostalgic (I’m sure my mum used to put this on me when I was little) and its just the best feeling slapping this on my legs after a long bath, then cosying up in my pyjamas. One thing I would say, is there is a hygiene risk as you must dip your fingers into the pot to get the creme; so keep this creme to yourself and make sure you have clean hands when applying! Another infection is the last thing us lymphies want on our legs!

For Delicate, Sensitive skin
Norwegian Formula Neutrogena deep moisture body lotion sensitive £3.59 (special offer!) at boots.com
This is great as the application is hygienic and if my legs are feeling a bit delicate, or they have any rashes on them, I would choose this to moisturise over other creams, as sometimes fragranced creams can aggravate any rashes etc. If you have dry skin, avoid using a creme with fragrance, as it can sep into the cracks and irritate the deeper layers of skin, causing itching and burning sensations. Stick to thick creams to start with, such as this one.

The Budget Friendly Option
Cien light feeling body lotion £2 or under, Lidl
Well I discovered this in Lidl the other day and thought I must try it! This cream is very easy to apply, the smell is lovely and if like me, you go through moisturiser like an elephant drinks water, it’s easier on your wallet. I probably would be careful using this on any red skin, as I feel the fragrance may irritate it.

For your Holiday
Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula £3 ish Savers
This cream is great, It smells lovely, which is a bonus as I avoid wearing perfume when im in hot countries as they attract bugs, so a softly fragrance cream is a good alternative. This cream can also be used as after-sun, and my boyfriend uses this too to keep his tattoos in good nick!

To Achieve Silky, Shiny Skin
Avon Skin So Soft £1.99 atm, it’s on offer! Avon.com
I was supposed to take this on holiday but I didn’t make an order in time! This dry oil is amazing as it doubles as a bug repellant. I’m not entirely sure on the science behind it, but what I do know is that after my evening showers when I went to India a few years ago, I’d put this on my whole body (except my face) and I definitely didn’t have (if any) many bites.

That’s me worded out for today, which moisturisers do you like to use?

G▫️👣

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List of must haves to take on holiday with you

essentials for a hospital trip-Vogue Adidas scarf @elknac

Ha just kidding! This post will be about 10 must haves to take on your trip to the hospital: I have become quite the expert of this topic over the years. Many a time I have had to speed pack a bag full of essentials for a journey to A&E.

Normally this is after dialling 111 when I have an unusual pain in my leg (oh the joys of being more at risk to blood clots) or an infection has flared up. After the advisor listening to my concerns, 9 times of of 10 they refer me to the emergency assessment unit (probably after me scaring them with my zillion syllabled medical condition). Now being an awkward time and the likelihood of there being a wait, I usually end up staying the night. This is when my list of hospital essentials comes to light…

Slipper socks-I have this thing when if I’m cold, it doesn’t matter how many blankets or layers I have on, if I’m not wearing socks I’m still freezing! Also they protect your feet during those journeys to the loo (NEVER have bare feet in a hospital!!!)

Crossword book– doesn’t matter if it’s 2 days or 2 years old -have a rummage in your mums pile of magazines, maybe she still has that one she took for the flight to Gran Canaria in August? These puzzle books often like to regurgitate words, so after you’ve done a few you become quite good at them. You will be very thankful to have the choice of something to read/ puzzle to solve otherwise you will find yourself counting the tiles on the ceiling.

The new vogue magazine (obvs).

Baby wipes– now sometimes you won’t be able to have a shower whilst your there- especially if you’re stuck in A and E, to avoid feeling grubby, take a pack of these with you.

Spare set of knickers– let’s face it you never know how long your hospital stay will be, and wearing a fresh pair of undies the next day will make all the difference.

Toothbrush and toothpaste– Okay, so some hospitals and particular wards may give you a travel set, but this doesn’t happen all the time. A clean set of knashers just makes me feel more human and if the docs have to listen to your heart beat and you’re conscious of your hogs breath, that’s not really great is it? Failing that grab some chewing gum at the in-hospital newsagents.

Earphones- having the 70 yr old next to me snore the whole night isn’t quite my idea of a good nights sleep. My SoundMAGIC ones are really good; I’ve had my pair for years and they’re still as good as new.

A snuggly top– Your boyfriends hoodie is a good option; I don’t know what it is but there’s something really nice about cosying up in a large hoodie.

A really thick cosy scarf that can double up as a pillow or blanket: some wards are unable to provide pillows, trust me you will be so thankful for that scarf when you have to spend the night on a couch instead of a proper bed.

And not forgetting Ye old iPhone charger– I’ve just bought a Juice lightning extra long lead apparently they last ages and they’re cheaper than Apple’s own! I got mine in bright coral so I can always spot it in a mess.

Undoubtedly I will have forgotten things so I will update as and when.

So that’s my list, what’s yours? I am intrigued to know other people’s experiences!