Edema is another word for swelling, and it is commonly associated with wounds that have trouble healing.Edema involves the collection of interstitial [in-between the cells and layers of tissue] fluid in the tissues, and it commonly obstructs wound healing by preventing nutrients, oxygen, and immune cells from getting to the wound to support healing and removal of cellular waste products. Because the fluid build-up is often protein-rich, it can provide a friendly environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to chronic cellulitis in the skin. Treatment of edema can involve any combination of therapies, including but not limited to the following:
- Specialized wrapping techniques, which involve wrapping special short-stretch bandages around the affected extremity to promote circulation and movement of lymphatic flow.
- Custom-made or properly sized compression garments, which come in a variety of sizes and provide varying levels of compression therapy for ongoing maintenance of lymphedema.
- Massage techniques