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Mosquito bite

nume
nume Member Posts: 81

Hi all!

This evening(some two hours ago) I was bitten by a mosquito on the arm with axillary clearance, on the mastectomy side. I`m freaking out about lymphedema now. I washed it with soap and I`m keeping ice on it.

Any advice on what to do, please? How big is the risk now?

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Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,894

    Hi nume,

    We're sorry you're worrying about the risk of lymphedema with this insect bite. Our suggestion on protecting yourself from flare-up and infection is "Apply antibiotic ointment — such as Bactroban, Neosporin, Polysporin, or a store-brand ointment with the same ingredients — to any insect bites, torn cuticles, or cuts you notice. Cover cuts with a band-aid and report any signs of infection to your doctor."

    There's also some more helpful information on Reducing Risk of Lymphedema and Flare-Ups here:

    Try not to worry too much. Please keep us posted!

    —The Mods

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 209

    Nume,

    Happened to me earlier this year. I washed with soap and water, slapped on some antibiotic and it's been fine. Hopefully you will have the same reaction. It's scary and after waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop, I finally decided to just let it be.

    Hope you have zero reactions.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,745

    I have very mild lymphedema. I take all of the recommended precautions but after almost 12 years, I feel it’s almost impossible to avoid the occasional bug bite, scrape, scratch or cut in a potentially problematic area. I have never iced any of these areas (how does ice prevent infection?) but if that’s the recommendation you’ve been given then go with it. Washing the area well and using an anti-biotic ointment is important as well. This, or some other skin break, will likely happen again so be prepared to treat any skin break the same way. All we can do is try our best . Unfortunately, there’s no sure fire way to prevent LE completely but following preventative measures can be helpful. Take care

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,745
    edited June 2023

    nume,

    I had never heard of icing for lymphedema before so did a little googling. What I’ve read seems to indicate that icing is not a good idea. Who suggested that you ice?

    • Stay away from extreme heat or cold. Hot and cold temperatures can cause the skin to swell and dry out. It can also cause fluid to build up. Don’t use hot tubs, saunas, or a heating pad. Cold can also damage skin. Don’t use ice packs on the treated area. Protect your skin with warm clothing in the winter.

    This info is from the following article:

    https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=34&contentid=16102#:~:text=Stay%20away%20from%20extreme%20heat%20or%20cold.&text=Cold%20can%20also%20damage%20skin,warm%20clothing%20in%20the%20winter.

  • nume
    nume Member Posts: 81

    Hi all! Thank you so much for answering and for the links!

    I`m ok I guess, no infection. The moment it happened I remembered the surgeon specifically mentioned after surgery to avoid insect bites. So it was total panic. Mainly because since last september 2022, when I started treatment, nothing went smoothly. I had most of the the usual but also the very are side effects and high grade reactions.

    kotchaj, this was the first time for me. Lesson learned.

    exbrnxgrl, nobody told me to put ice. For some reason, maybe because it became a small bright red patch, it made sense to me. This is not going to happen again.

    I am so thankful for this forum, to all the wonderful people I virtually met here!

    XO

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,745

    nume,

    I am glad you stopped icing as my understanding is that neither heat nor ice are good for lymphedema. However, I am not in the medical field so if your doctor had advised that, I didn’t want to contradict anything you were told. It’s good to be conscious about the potential for lymphedema and how to treat skin breaks as they will inevitably happen.

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 209

    Nume,

    One of the most frustrating things about breast cancer and all of its accessories that come with it are when something that before wouldn't have even hit your radar, does and scared the you know what out of you. I get it. Sending you a hug. It's easy to say don't worry, when all you've been doing is worrying. I'm glad that it has not gotten infected. No one needs that on top of everything else.