Lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic vessels fail to drain well their content rich in plasmatic proteins coming from the interstitial space that the blood capillaries go to.
The following act produces an edema that favor fiboblastic proliferation, which impedes the lymphatic circulation, closing a vicious cycle that may produce a monstruous elephantiasis
Lymphatic edemas are white, hard and elastic, in such a way that the digital mark does not last. The skin appears distended and with hairy implantations forming great relief.
There are two main types. Congenital lymphedema and secondary ones.
Some of the different types include in the first group affect primarily young women, without a history nor causes that might explain it. The first symptoms are swelling in the foot or ankle of an extremity which increases with fatigue, heat and pre-menstrual days, rest diminishes it. With the years, it ceases to progress, but by then cutaneous harshness, yellow nails, heaviness of the limb and sometimes elephantiasis
To the second afore-mentioned group pertain more than 50% of the cases diagnosed.
Elephantiasis, included in this group, is the consequence of a chronic intense lymphedema, and progressive and inflammatory. The other condition that affects mostly women, although much rarer, is lipedema, an accumulation of symmetrical fat in both of the legs. It seems to be of an hereditary character and should be considered as an esthetic defect as well as a true illness.
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