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Cellulitis from tight bra?

lastar Member Posts: 551

Hi, All —

I'm 11 years out from diagnosis and Lx/Mx. I have had issues with LE off and on since, but not much in the last 4 years or so. I wore a more substantial bra on Sunday. I usually only wear it for a few hours and then take it off, but I wore it all day. When I took it off on Sunday night, my cancer-side reconstructed breast was very red and warm. There was also splotchy redness on the bottom center part of my right reconstructed breast. I have had cellulitis once before and keep antibiotics on-hand in case it came up again on a weekend or during travel, so I started those right away. Today the redness is a little better, so I'm feeling relieved. How does this happen? I've had no obvious lymphedema for years (ever since an amazingly uncomfortable but very effective lymphatic drainage massage by a LMT), and there is no broken skin for bacteria to enter. Thanks for any thoughts.

Best ~ Leigh Ann



  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 770

    Hi Leigh Ann, I have to wear a loose bra (no support, more of a modesty cover) because of my LE breast. Compression makes it worse contrary to theory. It seems to stop the limited lymph fluid flow and cause more swelling. The heavy duty bra might have had this effect. Even if there is no evident broken skin bacteria can get in through a microscopic opening. I'm glad the antibiotics are working.

  • lastar
    lastar Member Posts: 551

    Thanks, @maggie15 ! I will start bra shopping for something less restrictive. I was enjoying wearing something with a little more support for a change, but I knew better. My flap-reconstruction breasts are much larger than the B/C cup that I was asking for. Plastic surgeons only seem to know BIG.