Recently I came across this post on Linked In written to a lymphedema specialist who posted an article on lymphedema – I noted the specialist opted not to respond to the post publically.
“What advice do you offer as far as skincare for someone who already has lymphedema? I learned (as a licensed Esthetician) during oncology esthetic training not to perform massage on areas of the body where a person had lymph nodes removed. I’m assuming a lymph drainage massage is what you’re referring to. I’d be interested in learning that. I also volunteer for the Look Good Feel Better program. What advice about skincare and putting on stockings do you offer?”
First of all, the message is confusing – what would this lymphedema specialist know about Oncology Esthetics? Does she know who offers Oncology Esthetics training? Many people refer to ‘oncology’ training in our field as ‘Oncology Esthetics’ yet they may have been trained by someone other than OTI. Why would the lymphedema specialist comment on what someone else has taught with no understanding of what was taught?
My policy on responding to requests like this on social media is – we won’t do it. Too many people may misconstrue the accuracy of the statement, so we prefer to contact a privately. This person appears to have attended a training (not an OTI training) and obviously was not given accurate content, or the student did not fully understand the issues relating to skin care and lymphedema.
We must remember to work within the scope of our license or certification. Working with lymphedema from a pathological perspective which includes MLD is not within the scope of our license – this is for the lymphedema specialist.