Edema is a term used for swelling of the body due to an injury or inflammation. It happens when the small blood vessels leak and release fluid to the nearby tissues, Edema can affect any part of the body but most commonly occurs in the hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs.
*Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin
*Stretched or shiny skin
*Skin that retains a dimple after being pressed for several seconds
*Weakened valves of the veins in the legs.
*Certain diseases such as congestive heart failure and lung, liver, kidney, and thyroid diseases.
*Medication for blood pressure or pain
*Severe burns, trauma or poor nutrition
*Too much salt in the diet
*Sitting or standing in one place for too long
*Pregnancy can cause edema in the legs
Medication can help remove excess fluid. Reducing the amount of salt in the food also relieves edema often. But if edema is a sign of an underlying disease, the disease itself will require proper treatment.
Tips to manage edema
*Alight massage of the affected area may help, move the excess fluid away from the area.
*Put a pillow under your legs when you are lying down or sitting for long periods so the legs are kept elevated above the level of the heart.
*Wear compression stockings, sleeves or gloves. These garments keep the pressure on the limbs to prevent fluid from collecting in the tissue.
*Keep the affected area clean, moisturized, and free from injury. Dry, cracked skin is more prone to scrapes, cuts, and infection.
*Reduce salt intake. Salt can increase fluid retention and worsen edema. Note the amount of salt present in processed foods, especially packaged foods.
*Do not sit or stand for long periods of time without moving. Every 10-15 minutes try to change your position, stretch, and walk around.