Weight-related Lymphedema

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Staff member
Global Moderator
Dec 14, 2012
I was just wondering if people could give me a bit on insight into Lymphedema caused by weight/general non-cancer treatment related things? I've tried to look things up but almost everything on health websites talks about lymphedema caused by cancer/cancer surgery which isn't the situation I'm curious about.

My Aunt has swelling in both lower legs and ankles, pain there and a red rash that flares up and then disappears from time to time. Doctors treated it as a fungal skin infection but it doesn't seem to help, or to explain the swelling. She is about 5'1 and 250 lbs, so not incredibly huge or anything like that, but she feels it might be weight related. My grandmother on that side had lymphedema in one leg following an old injury so I don't know if it could be genetic?

I guess I am just concerned as she wont go to the doctors at the moment and it isn't getting better. Does this sound like lymphedema to anyone here? What can we do to make her more comfortable?

Funtastic curves

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2018
I have lymphedema. I've had it for 15 years now. Its in my right leg only.

You are either born with it or it is caused from a injury/ trauma. Every thing I've learned about lymphedema it's not genetic related. And a person weight does not matter much. Yes if you lose weight it may bring a little comfort in carrying the additional weight in the infected area but it will not cure the problem.

Not many doctors know how to treat lymphedema which is very sad.

There are many infections that can occurs with lymphedema like Cellulitis. To prevent infection try to keep legs cleen and dry and always lotion them to prevent cracks and cuts from dry skin.

Compression stocking or sleeves are very helpful, elevation is a must.

The best advice I can give you is to find a doctor that specializes in lymphedema. It took me 2 years to find someone that had knowledge in this area. I learned that doctor only receives 1 hour of training on the issue.

I wish you and your grandmother the best of luck in finding the needed help. If you have certain questions I am willing to help as best I can.


Dimensions' loiterer
Sep 29, 2005
The great white north, eh?
I don't know if it causes rashes, but one long-ago Dimmer who I've stayed in touch with has had a partial failure of the valve that helps keep our blood from all pooling in our legs, resulting in a lot of swelling (making sitting especially bad). Apparently that is most common in the combination of getting older while being fat.

Whatever the cause, she should surely go see a doctor. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing where you should just treat the symptoms and hope that is good enough. Something has changed to cause that, and whatever that something is it could have other implications.


Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2005
, Female
I've had edema, not lymphedema, in my lower legs, ankles, and feet from the vein valve issue. Venous reflux and/or chronic venous insufficiency. It caused swelling, discoloration, dry skin, itchiness, and a dull throbbing ache.

Elevating my legs helped, as did wearing knee high compression stockings.

I had the RF ablation procedure done on both legs, but couldn't get all the affected veins on my right leg done, one was too close to a nerve. They did the Venaseal procedure on that one. The venaseal procedure wasn't as effective as the RF ablation procedure though, but with the nerve involvement, the doctor did what he could safely do.

My left leg is completely resolved, my right leg is still partially affected, but enough blood flow efficiency was restored to consider the procedure a success. The remaining swelling and discoloration is just a comfort and cosmetic issue, so I wear a compression stocking on that side to manage it now.

Lymphedema and edema are different issues and have different causes and ways to manage them. So it's important to get a diagnosis to know exactly what you're dealing with.

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