Sunbathing with lymphedema

We have the most wonderful Indian summer here in the Czech Republic, so I took the opportunity for sunbathing.

Except for the few rainy days right now, we had so far in almost the entire September bright sunshine and the daily temperature around 30 Celsius (that is 86F and above), real summer, yayy!

A few times, I did something completely un-orthodox, a big no-no with lymphedema: when I took sunbathes, I exposed my legs to the hot Sun as well! For more than one hour, each time.

We are told that heat is not good for the lymphedema arms or legs, therefore we should keep them as cool as possible. And definitely NO sunbathing, right?

So I made an experiment: a good couple of times when I was sitting in the window in Midday hours, having my lunch or just a coffee, putting my legs up on the window sill (like sitting on the floor, with streched legs), I took off my compression garments to see what happens.

This is what happened:

  • my legs did not get more swollen than when I kept them in the shadow or when I had the compression stockings on, while sunbathing!!!,
  • my lower legs were sweating, (I suppose that is good, getting rid of accumulated stuff). Not my thighs where it is only excess fat, but only my lower legs where it is lymphedema,
  • my thighs got a nice tan – however, not my lower legs! They stayed almost as white as they were before. Which is quite interesting, because my skin tans extremely fast, just by walking in the street in the first spring sunrays, I can easily look like a Gypsy or a Latina.

Interesting, dont you think? Hm. Now I am looking forward to the next gorgeous sunny days…

It might be that my body was happy about the extra vitamin D – I am just guessing.

I did not take pictures of myself, it would look funny: really brown face, neck, decollete and arms, a bit brown upper body and thighs, with white bikini spots, and white lower legs 😀

But here is some sunshine for you:


How do you do sunbathing with lymphedema? Do you take off your compression garments, or you dont even go to the sun in the summer? Please let us know in a comment

Be happy and healthy,

Andrea Gerak

Andrea Gerák (also spelled as Gerak) is a Hungarian artist, mostly known as a singer. She is also photographing, dancing, writing, and forever learning through her journey in the world, living out of a suitcase. Her attention turned to healthy living after a cancer surgery in 2008. Proud mom of a big boy.

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