Stage 1 Lymphedema
The characteristics of Stage 1 include puffy appearance of the hand or foot (farthest point on the limb). There may be impressions from pushing on the skin—referred to as “pitting” edema. It may be more difficult to see veins on the top of the hand or foot. It is not unusual for swelling to improve at night but return during the day. Similarly, elevation of the affected area may temporarily help reduce the edema. This could be due to lower protein content of the lymph fluid early in the development of lymphedema, or the fact that lymphedema hasn’t been present long enough to result in fibrosis.