How to prevent it

I have had the erysipelas infection almost 30 times within the last 5 years and I have tried all sorts of things to prevent it. But no matter what you do, there will never be a guarantee that you will not get the infection – there are a lot of things you can do to at least give your body the best possible circumstances not to get it, though.

Here is a list of general – and personal – advices in relation to preventing erysipelas infections:

  • Avoid getting scratches and wounds on the limbs with lymphedema. Any kind of wound can result in bacteria getting under your skin and evolving to an infection. This also means trying to avoid mosquito bites, sunburns and wounds from playing with your cat or dog.
  • Always use sunblock in the summer if you have your lymphedema limbs out in the sun!
  • It is generally recommended to use antibacterial soaps. I wash my legs in a product called MediScrub a few times a week. You can read more about my skin care advices here.
  • Remember to moisturize your skin; it will make the skin stronger in relation to resisting bacteria getting past the skin barrier.
  • It you do get any kind of wound, wash it with chlorhexidine.
  • My advice: Avoid getting stressed. There are studies that show that stress can cause other kinds of skin diseases and my case is a very clear example of that being the case with erysipelas as well.
  • My advice: I believe that I have been able to go without an infection for many months now because I listen to my body and also try minimizing the swelling of the lymphedema by exercising and staying mentally fit. In my opinion, the physical illness of erysipelas is connected to the general state of your body and your mind. So try to do just a minimum of yoga for example to lessen the degree of the lymphedema and at the same time get mental time outs.