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All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: Shaving

Topic: Shaving

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jul 27, 2017 11:08AM

gb2115 wrote:

Wasn't sure where to put this. I keep putting off shaving my underarm because of lymphedema fears. Lymphedema specialist said to use an electric razor only. I have read that sometimes these can chew your skin up, or just pull the hair right out (ow). Checked Amazon reviews and I'm not seeing any products that look useful. I am numb on the underarm skin so I can't feel the razor pressure. This makes me nervous since I tend to nick myself regularly on the other side which I can feel. I am actually ok with my underam being hairy (I know, TMI big time---sorry). I am happy to not wear tank tops, I just don't care. Bigger things in life to care about really. Especially now, I've learned that. My husband said he doesn't care either. I am thankful to be married to a man cares what I think and isn't just looking out for himself. :-)

Anyway, I have my doctor's follow ups starting in September, and will have a bunch of breast exams pretty much back to back, plus the dreaded first post treatment mastectomy, and I'm trying to decide if I will let possible embarrassment by my practitioners seeing my hairy underarm force me to shave even though I'd rather not, or just say screw it and not worry about it. I went hairy to my MO appointment in the spring and she didn't blink an eye. I'm sure they see lots of things.

Does anyone have a brand of electric razor that they love, that hasn't hurt them? I thought about trying a topical remover, but I have had such **horrible** dermatologic issues over the past year that I'm not thrilled with putting any substance on my skin that isn't vaseline or cotton balls. I don't want to deal with dermatitis in my armpit. :-)

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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Jul 27, 2017 11:25AM ksusan wrote:

I don't know where you are located, but in my part of the country at least, practitioners don't care. There are many US women who don't shave their underarms. If you're okay with it, I'd say not to worry about it.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jul 27, 2017 12:14PM tsoebbin wrote:

I'm using the Panasonic ladies razor. My mother was also diagnosed last year so I bought her one too.

We both love it, no pulls of hair yet. It has a trimmer to use if your hair is really long.

The model number is ES2207P and it can be used we or dry. $16.99 on Amazon.🌼

I am 52 and Love Travel, My Family and Friends, and Life in General! Dx 4/4/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/10/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 5/11/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/27/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jul 27, 2017 03:05PM Binney4 wrote:

GB, if you can't face "going hairy" there are some options. Many women find electric razors too "brutal" to skin, so prefer the regular, non-electric kind. Good idea to run them through the "sterilize" cycle in the dishwasher between uses. Here are a few ideas:


The danger of razor nicks (either electric or non) is the increased risk of infection (cellulitis). So if you shave and your skin feels raw or nicked, do use a topical antibiotic, keep it clean and keep a careful eye on it, and get help quickly if you suspect infection. Here's information on that:


But, hey, If you and DH are comfortable with skipping the shaving, it's all good. Don't be intimidated for taking great care of yourself!


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Jul 27, 2017 06:11PM ChiSandy wrote:

I have an inexpensive battery-operated one I got in the deodorant aisle at CVS. My hair growth in my surgical armpit is slow and sparse, and the worst I get with that razor is “five-o-clock shadow.” On my other ‘pit I use a Venus manual disposable.

Lately, though, I have realized that the only way I’m wearing anything sleeveless is if it’s layered under a jacket or blouse—my upper arms are flabby and even if I lose more weight there’s too much loose skin for me to ever get “great guns” (even surgically, because that would be a tourniquet-requiring procedure which is way too dangerous on an arm even merely at risk for LE, much less with LE). I don’t go to the beach, and nobody at the pool is going to look at my armpits. So I haven’t shaved in weeks.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)

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