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Burns of Lymphedema Affected Tissues


Do NOT place butter, oil, ice, or ice water on burns on lymphedema affected tissues. Treating these tissues requires special precautions.

Contact your physician promptly, if you have any questions as to the seriousness of a burn on these tissues,


First Degree Burns (superficial burns)

First degree burns have no blisters and no breaks in the skin. 

  • A first degree burns is treated by cooling the affected area with a cool wet cloth on for 20 minutes alternating with it off for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat this until the area is pain-free.
  • To prevent these tissues from drying out, apply a low pH moisturizer, or an antibiotic cream, over the affected area.
  • Provide additional protection over the affected area by covering it lightly with a dry gauze bandage.

Second Degree Burns (partial thickness burns)

  • Blisters are present here and there is damage to the outer layer of skin. This damage causes a break in the skin.
  • When a second degree burn is present on lymphedema affected tissues it should be promptly evaluated and then treated by a physician.

Third Degree Burns (full thickness burns)

  • The severity of these burns destroys all layers of the skin and the underlying fat, muscles, bones, and nerves.
  • These can be a life threatening emergency and require immediate medical treatment! 


  • Second and third degree burns should be treated as medical emergencies. Call 911 or your local medical emergency number.
  • Any burn on an area affected by lymphedema should be evaluated by a healthcare providers. If you cannot see your normal care provider, go to an urgent care center or an emergency room immediately!


© Copyright Lymph Notes 2015. This information does not replace the advice of a physician.

Got a question or comment? Post in the 'Lymphedema Treatment' forum.
Category: Lymphedema Emergencies and Complications Updated: 2017-01-02


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