Lymphodema and BITES !!

Hi ladies
I have Lymphodema in arm and breast 2 days ago I was bitten by a midge on bad arm I washed it and put antisceptic cream on the bite has got quite big but dosent look infected , what do I look our for in regards to infection im going on holiday in 3 weeks to Lanzarote this does not bode well for insect bites does it :frowning:
Any advice greafully received
Janice x

Bumping :slight_smile:

Hi Janice

Same thing happened to me yesterday and I can feel a lump? under the surface as well as the bite on the surface (If you see what I mean) It is a nightmare isn’t it I have a supply of antibiotics that doc gives me so will keep an eye on it . I think you are just looking for any redness and heat??
I have bought some wrist bands for keeping midges. mosquitos etc at bay pity wasnt wearing it yesterday! May be worth you getting a couple for your holiday.
Have a lovely holiday


The thing is, you tend to get some redness and heat from the histamine reaction to the bite. Well, I do anyway, and some bites are worse than others. In a normal summer I get the occasional bite that produces a hard, red, hot area 4-5 inches across!, while other bites don’t react in the same way at all.

I am very anxious about developing lymphedema, and reckon my chances are about 50/50, especially once I have had my radiation treatments. So I got a couple of bites, close together, on my wrist last week, and the whole of my wrist and the back of my hand swelled, so I was having kittens! I used oral antihistamines, and some local steroid cream plus elevation and massage to get the swelling down, and happily my hand is almost back to normal today.

In terms of infection, the signs would be INCREASING pain and redness, spreading over a larger area, and especially if you notice red streaks going up the arm. This can be accompanied by a “fluey” feeling and possibly fever. Preferably of course don’t let it go that far, but if it does, seek immediate medical attention.

Hi Janice,
I agree with Morwenna. One of the women I know with lymphoedema draws around her bite with a marker, so she can see if the red is getting bigger. (I do NOT do that!! but I bear it in mind–I often make someone else look at it, so in case I think it’s getting worse I can get a second opinion–but I’m a hypocondriac) In addition to Morwenna’s symptoms of cellulitis, I would add heat–my arm became red and hot. The big thing about a bite, don’t scratch it!!! You do not want to break the skin. I’ve had a couple of big mozzi bites and come out unscathed–it was my manky fingernails at the end of taxotere chemo that triggered my lymphoedema : (
Also–for goodness sake, go to gp and explain about your lymphoedema, he or she should prescribe you two weeks worth of antibiotics, so that if you develop an infection while on holiday, you can (RIGHT AWAY) start taking the tablets and nip it in the bud without dramatic trips to A & E.
Morwenna–the only thing i’d add to what you have said, is that if you think you have an infection you are not supposed to do any massage or sld because of the risk of driving the infection around your body via your lymph system. For the same reason if you think you have cellulitis, don’t wear your arm sleeve until it is clear the antibiotics are working.

Thank you for your replys ladies, The bite seems to be ok unfortunately it did break when I was in bed but ive been putting antisceptic cream on and taking anti histermines so fingers crossed , I will certainly take your advice in seeing the dr before I go for some anti biotics whether he will give them to me is another matter all together !!
The only thing I may have done wrong is MLD I do it daily so I shall keep a good eye on things , Looking forward to holiday but obviously concerned how I will cope with lymphodema and the blooming hot flushes in the heat , oh the joys …
Love to all x