Signs and Symptoms

How do I know if I have lymphedema?

The so-called “Stemmer’s sign” is a reliable diagnostic sign of detecting lymphedema.

Try to pinch the skin at the base of your toe. If this is difficult, or even impossible, we speak of a “positive Stemmer’s sign.” This is a sign of lymphedema. Furthermore, deeper natural skin folds that appear over the joints, swelling over the backs of the hand and feet, and taut skin also indicate lymphedema.


If you do have a positive stemmer’s sign result, it’s important to consult a doctor. The earlier a lymphedema patient starts treatment, the more likely that edema will be managed well in the long-term.

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