Bandages are used as part of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) to help reduce swelling and stabilize limbs prior to measuring and fitting patients for compression garments. Bandages also help as a compression aid during the nighttime for lymphedema management.

Practice self-bandaging

The best way for patients to learn to self-bandage for lymphedema management is to practice with a certified lymphedema therapist. Absolute Medical can provide you with all the necessary products that you are ready for your first day of therapy. Many private insurance companies cover the cost of these supplies. Please ask us to verify your insurance prior to purchasing from an online store or from a hospital or clinic.

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Either our experts or a certified lymphedema therapist can instruct patients on the best method to bandage their limb. Once patients learn to self-bandage, there are some regular essentials they will need each time they do.


Always the first step in bandaging, applying moisturizing lotion to the limb is key to keep skin free from irritation and cracks. If possible, look for a lotion without perfumes or dyes, which could dry out the skin.

We recommend: Eucerin or Curel

Cotton tubular stocking

The first layer applied in bandaging for lymphedema management, the stocking will protect the skin, absorb any sweat, and create a base to hold the other materials in place. A fresh new stocking should be used each bandaging, to keep the limbs clean.

We recommend: Lohmann & Rauscher Tubular Bandage Stockinette or BSN Tricofix

Foam padding

The next layer in lymphedema bandaging creates an ideal surface area for bandages and helps to prevent slipping. Foams also can help with directional movement of lymphatic fluid and evenly distributing pressure across tissues, helping to hold a limb’s proper shape once the bandages are removed.

We recommend: BSN CompriFoam or Lohmann & Rauscher Rosidal Soft or Sigvaris Grey Foam

Short-stretch bandages

Cotton bandages that look like ACE bandages, but are less elastic. Their layers create graded pressure to help drain lymphatic fluid up and out of the extremities. Short-stretch bandages fit snug but not tight.

We recommend: BSN Comprilan or Lohmann & Rauscher Rosidal K

Adhesive tape

To secure your bandages in place use medical adhesive tape, or try a cohesive bandage product that wraps around the top of your bandages and holds them firmly in place, without restricting movement.

We recommend: Lohmann & Rauscher Silkafix Adhesive Tape or BSN Handygauze Cohesive or BSN Surgifix

Gauze bandages for fingers and toes

To help control swelling, open-weave gauze bandages conform easily to the contours of the digits, and closed-weave bandages create a bit more compression for ones that really need it.

We recommend: BSN Elastomull or Lohmann & Rauscher Mollelast


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